Protecting Your Rights During a Contempt Action Filing Case
A contempt action is filed when one of the parties to a family law action violates an existing order. The court makes decisions that must be followed. The only way a person should deviate from following the court’s word is by either appealing a case or requesting a modification. Otherwise, deviation or disregard for a court order can add to one’s legal woes. There are numerous consequences that come with a contempt action. Whether you are the person requesting the court’s intervention or happen to be accused of deviating from a court order, you need an attorney to help you through tough times. The Alfred Law Firm recognizes the significance of post-judgment actions and we are ready to represent your rights and protect your future. For a consultation with our firm, contact The Alfred Law Firm today.
What reasons constitute filing a contempt action?
In Georgia, there are numerous situations that call for the need to file a contempt action. Contempt actions can be filed if:
- The other parent is withholding the children or not allowing you to exercise your visitation as ordered
- The other party has failed to pay child support as ordered
- You have not received spousal support as ordered
- The other party has failed to turn over property as ordered
- The other party has failed to perform other acts ordered by the court
Contempt actions may be resolved either by an agreement of the parties or by a judge after a hearing. Evidence is key in contempt cases. It is important that you keep accurate records and document everything that the other party has failed or neglected to do in violation of the court order. If a judge is forced to hear the case, he or she has some discretion on how to resolve these disputes. Most judges will give the offending party an opportunity to cure the contempt prior to resorting to harsher penalties such as jail time and/or awarding the other party attorney’s fees and court costs.
Consequences for a contempt of court
As stated above, a person found in contempt of court is often at the mercy of the judge’s discretion. First and foremost, the person in question faces incarceration and fines if he or she does not comply. In addition, if the matter is regarding child support or alimony, the court can take a number of steps to recover the amount owed and ensure that the future amount will be paid. This can include:
- Garnishing wages
- Withholding tax refunds
- Filing liens
- Interception of lottery winnings over $2500
- Suspension or revocation of driver’s license
- Suspension or revocation of occupational or professional license
- Suspension or revocation of hunting and fishing license
- Suspension or revocation of one’s passport
For contempt actions for custody, the court can subject the custodial parent to incarceration and fines if they do not comply. Visitation rights can be addressed, but custody cannot. That would need to be a separate motion based on the issues that brought the contempt action.
Contact an attorney
It is important to discuss your situation with an attorney. Whether you are the one filing a contempt action or the subject of one, we are here to protect your rights and help you through this tough matter. For a consultation with our firm, contact the Alfred Law Firm today.