Contempt & Enforcement

Child Custody Attorney in Palm Beach Gardens

When a judge makes an order regarding child support, spousal support, or child custody matters, that order must be obeyed. If one of the parties to the suit fails to comply with the order, the judge has several tools at his or her disposal to get the non-complying party to cooperate. If a judge has issued an order in a custody matter involving your child, you may want to consult an experienced West Palm Beach family law attorney. Over three decades of practice in Florida, I have maintained an unrivaled commitment to my clients and their needs.

Enforcing Judicial Orders in Florida Family Courts

The judge will retain jurisdiction over the matter in case one of the parties fails to comply with the order. For example, if a judge orders a woman to pay child support to her ex-husband who has primary physical custody of the children, that judge may retain jurisdiction over the matter to ensure that the court’s order is followed. This allows for easier enforcement of judicial orders.

Contempt in Florida Courts

A judge may enforce a judgment by holding a non-complying party in contempt of court. When a party refuses to do what a judge’s order requires, that party can be held in contempt of court. There are two kinds of contempt, criminal and civil. Civil contempt is used by judges to convince a party to comply with a judicial order or decree. If a judge orders a husband to pay spousal support to his ex-wife, for example, a judge may hold the husband in civil contempt if the husband refuses. Generally speaking, a judge can place a party in custody until that party complies with the judicial order.

Criminal contempt is “any act which is calculated to embarrass, hinder, or obstruct the court in the administration of justice, or which is calculated to lessen its authority or its dignity.” In criminal contempt cases, the punishment is usually a fine, rather than imprisonment.

There are two types of contempt, direct and indirect. Direct criminal contempt occurs when a party disobeys a court’s order in front of the judge. Indirect criminal contempt is reserved for when the refusal to comply occurs outside the courthouse.

In each case, the judge is free to decide if a party should be held in contempt of court, based on that party’s actions. Additionally, civil contempt is a remedy that may be used by those who are owed child support or spousal support payments to get the money they deserve from non-paying ex-spouses.

Are You Involved in a West Palm Beach Family Law Matter?

If you are currently involved in a Florida family law matter, you should give me a call. I am a Palm Beach Gardens child custody attorney with both the experience and the dedication you need to feel comfortable knowing that your case is in good hands. To speak to me about the facts of your case, and to learn more about Florida family law as it pertains to your case, click here or call 561-533-1221 today to schedule your free initial consultation.