Contempt of Court

Contempt Of Court Attorney In Anoka, Minnesota

Contempt motions in family law cases may be filed when one of the parties has violated a court order, such as a parenting time arrangement, child support payments, spousal maintenance, or relocation out of state with a child without getting the approval of the court first.

Christian Peterson is a highly experienced Anoka family law lawyer who can help you with a contempt matter, whether you have been accused of failing to comply with a court order or you are a former spouse needing to advise the court of contempt.

Representation Through The Contempt Process

Contempt is defined as the disobedience of a family court order. Contempt is used to encourage all parties to comply with court orders. However, a finding of contempt can only be made if any of the following requirements exist:

  • The court must have jurisdiction.
  • The party accused of contempt must be given the opportunity to be present at the hearing and show that they have complied with the court order, or explain why they failed to comply.
  • The party filing the contempt motion must prove what obligations were to be performed under the court order and what obligations were not performed, resulting in the failure to comply.

The hearing will typically involve testimony from both sides, along with the opportunity to submit documented evidence. Both parties in this case have a degree of burden of proof. One must prove that the failure to comply occurred, while the other must prove that it didn’t. In many cases, the proof by one party is stronger than the proof of the other, making it easier for the court to determine what happened.

Understanding Contempt Penalties In Minnesota

Once a party has been found in contempt, a conditional penalty is imposed by the court. This penalty can include fines, jail time, fees, property transfer, and other consequences that the judge may feel is appropriate. Penalties are imposed on a conditional basis. This allows the contemnor a chance to comply with the original court order. If the court order is regarding child support, any unpaid child support will have to be paid in addition to support payments based on the original court order. If the contemnor still does not comply with the court order, a penalty will be imposed at a second hearing. Each time the court order is not complied with, the penalties become more and more serious.

If you have complied and you are being accused of not complying or you haven’t complied and you have a reason, it is important to have your Minnesota family law lawyer helping you throughout the process and also guiding you toward a satisfactory conclusion in the matter so that everyone can move forward with their lives.