If you have recently been through or filed for a divorce, you may be aware that just because you have a divorce decree does not mean that you don’t ever have to think about your divorce ever again. Even with legal documents, a spouse may refuse to comply with court orders regarding property division, child support, visitation, child custody, or spousal maintenance matters. Indubitably, this can cause overwhelming frustration and demand that you continue to focus on your divorce long after it should have been settled.
Ignoring a court order not only places emotional and/or financial stress on the other spouse, but it also comes with potentially serious civil repercussions for the non-compliant spouse, including jail time and/or fines in certain situations. Without an adequate explanation as to why the court order wasn’t followed, the non-compliant spouse may be found in contempt of court for willfully ignoring or disobeying the instructions of the Court.
To be found in contempt of court, it must be proven that the accused person:
- Knew that the court order existed
- Had the ability to comply but knowingly chose to violate the conditions
- Lacked just cause or excuse for violating the order
Because the burden of proof lies with the accuser, it is important to put an experienced attorney on your side if you plan on filing for contempt. If you are in need of assistance enforcing a court order in New York or New Jersey, the Mullen Law Firm is prepared to represent you. We can help gather the evidence that is needed to file for contempt and prove your case.