Indianapolis Contempt Attorney
What Is Considered Contempt in Indiana?
Retain Representation from an Indianapolis Family Lawyer
In family law cases, when one side refuses or simply fails to follow the
terms set out in a court order or approved
divorce settlement, they can found in contempt. There are many ways a party may
be in contempt of a court order. For instance, if a parent actively interferes
with the terms of a parenting time order, a finding of contempt may be
appropriate. Another example is when one spouse is required to transfer
property to the other spouse, but fails to do so or ignores a deadline.
What do I do if my ex-spouse is not complying with a court order?
In order to find an individual in contempt, a court must be able to determine
that the party in question acted in willful disobedience of the court's
order. If an individual has to seek court intervention, a motion explaining
the circumstances must be filed with the court and a hearing would be
requested. Both sides may have the chance to argue their position during
At a hearing, the party seeking the contempt citation has the burden of
proving the other party has acted in willful disobedience of the court's
order. This could include evidence that one party repeatedly did not deliver
the child for parenting time, or perhaps failed to make any effort to
sell the property or goods. In short, it must be shown that an individual
had an obligation to perform a certain action and failed to do so.
What will the court do if my ex-spouse is found to be in contempt of a
If it is shown that a party willfully disobeyed an order, the court has
the authority to tailor the appropriate punishment. While there are numerous
options available to a court are, typical contempt citations include monetary
penalties, payment of attorney's fees for the other side, and even
potential jail time. The primary purpose of contempt is to coerce the
other party into action for the benefit of the aggrieved party.
Should I seek to hold my ex-spouse in contempt?
It is important to note that contempt actions are not appropriate to address
minor grievances or isolated incidents of behavior. An individual and
their attorney should not seek to use a contempt action in a vindictive
manner. Rather, it is a remedy available when one party has resisted informal
attempts to resolve a dispute and there are no other options available
to obtain fulfillment of court-ordered obligations.
If you feel that you have no other legal avenue to hold your ex-spouse
or partner accountable for their responsibilities as laid out in a court-order,
call on Hollingsworth & Zivitz. Our
family law attorneys are here to fiercely advocate on your behalf and can fight for justice.
Need to take fast legal action to hold another to a court-order? Start
by requesting your initial
consultation with our firm!
We serve all of Indianapolis, Carmel, and the surrounding communities.