The Violation of a Court Order is a Serious Matter
After an order or final judgment has been entered in your case, there may come a time when the parent/other party does not follow the court’s orders. There are a number of enforcement tools in a Florida lawyer’s toolbox. The nature of the court order which has been ignored or violated determines what kinds of sanctions can be ordered by the court.
Contempt of court in the State of Florida is the act of being disobedient or disrespectful towards a court of law. In the family law arena, indirect civil contempt is the most prevalent action taken. Civil contempt is designed to encourage the offending party into compliance and is not punishment. Civil contempt must be brought to the court’s attention by the filing of a motion for contempt and a hearing with the judge is required. At that time, the party complaining about the failure of the other to act must present his or her case and the offending parent has an opportunity to present evidence to the court to show why he or she failed to comply with the court order. If your ex-spouse or child’s parent is being non-compliant with the orders of the court, ti is important to keep detailed contemporaneous records and have witnesses regarding the violation.
Civil Contempt of court in divorce and parenting cases include, but are not limited to;
- Non-payment of child support.
- Refusal to pay alimony.
- Violations of the parenting plan.
- With holding timesharing and contact with the children.
- Refusal to maintain insurances for the children.
An Order of contempt by the court may include the following sanctions on the other party;
- Jail sentence with a payment of some portion of the amount due as the “key to the jail.”
- Parenting classes.
- Make up timesharing if one parent is not allowing court ordered visits.
- Paying attorney’s fees and costs.
Violations of the court’s orders on property settlement, such as transfer of a home or bank account funds or payment of a lump sum for equalizing the property division, are not actionable by contempt. In those cases, a motion for enforcement is required. This motion is set for hearing and the court can order that the offending party pay the required amounts within a certain timeframe, pay interest on the amounts due or other sanctions, such as payment of attorney’s fees.
As a court magistrate for 10 years, Ms. Ambrose dealt with thousands of contempt and enforcement hearings and is well versed in the requirements to prove or disprove a contempt or enforcement action. If you think the other party has failed to follow a court order in your family law case, or you’ve been accused of violating a court order in a family law matter, please contact our office immediately to discuss the particulars of your case. Call today at (407) 388- 8740.