Atlanta Contempt of Court Lawyer

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Court orders in family law can be complicated and vague. If you’re in contempt of court for violating a court order related to child support, alimony, or visitation, you may need a contempt of court lawyer. Our team is dedicated to helping you understand contempt of court in family law and why you’ve been placed in contempt. If our contempt of court lawyers determine you’ve been unjustly found in contempt, we’ll work with you to get clarification from the court, modify the order, or compile evidence to fight the claim. On the other hand, if you need to enforce a court order, we’ll help you file a case with the proper court. 

Types of Contempt of Court

Criminal Contempt of Court

This type of contempt of court refers to actively undermining the authority of court proceedings. It’s also known as direct contempt and is punishable by a fine or jail time. Its enforcement is punitive for damages already caused and needs evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Civil Contempt of Court

Civil contempt of court generally refers to contempt that takes place outside of the courtroom. Notably, failure to comply with a court order. Civil contempt is used to enforce future compliance and can be lifted if the court order is followed. This is the type of contempt most often associated with family law, including divorce and child custody proceedings.

Prove Contempt of Court in Family Law

It can be difficult to prove contempt when it comes to family law. First, there has to be an active court order and both parties must know about it and be able to comply with it. Next, it must be shown that there was wilful disobedience of the court order. This can be especially difficult because family law court orders are often vague and knowing exactly how to comply can be challenging. 

Our team is dedicated to helping you understand the court order and why you’ve been placed in contempt.

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First, you need to understand why you’ve been placed in contempt and what is expected of you. Talking to a lawyer right away will save you time, money, and a lot of headaches. We can help determine if the contempt is fair and if modifications need to be made. 

There are several steps to proving civil contempt. First, there must be a court order in effect. Next, both parties must be aware of the court order. Then, it has to be shown that one party knowingly violated the order. Finally, the person accused must be offered a chance to defend themselves in court. If the judge rules contempt is appropriate, then it will be placed. 

Yes, there are many things you can do before going to the courts. Filing a motion to clarify can clear up any confusion. You can also file a motion to modify the order or pursue dispute resolution outside of the courts. We can help you determine the best solution if you want to avoid the process of placing someone in contempt.

Contempt is a major step to take after all other avenues have been exhausted. If you try to place someone in contempt without legitimate reason, the judge may rule against you and you’ll have to deal with a modification motion. You’ll also have to pay fees if you lose. On top of that, taking someone to court can be highly emotional.

You typically must file a motion in an existing case and in the same county and court as the original order. After you file a motion, you’ll get a date for your hearing and the judge will sign an order to appear. This is then served to the other party and then the hearing is held. The judge will come to a binding decision. 

If one party is found in contempt of a family law court order, the judge will determine and enforce what steps need to be taken to ensure compliance. This can include counseling, requirements for securing employment, and scheduling future hearings to make sure the orders are being followed. Civil contempt can be lifted by following the rules for visitation, child support, alimony/maintenance payments, and the general divorce agreement.  

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