Orlando, Florida Contempt and Enforcement Attorney
The terms of a divorce settlement represent binding legal obligations. Any deviation from child custody arrangements, visitation schedules, or child and spousal support payments must be approved by the court. If your ex-spouse owes child or spousal support or if you are being denied court-sanctioned visitation with your children, it may be necessary to bring a contempt order against your ex-spouse. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a contempt or enforcement action could lead to garnished wages, seizure of property, even jail.
The law office of family law attorney Kenneth D. Morse works closely with clients in preparing all necessary paperwork and information regarding enforcement hearings and contempt orders.
If your ex-spouse is not paying alimony or child support or is not following other terms of your divorce agreement, we can help. Whether you have missed child support payments due to job loss or you are seeking to collect child support in arrears, we have the experience and knowledge needed to resolve your issue. To schedule an appointment, contact contempt and enforcement lawyer Kenneth D. Morse today.
Child Support and Enforcement
Child support is intended for the children of a marriage - not the parent awarded custody after a divorce. If the parent responsible for paying child support fails to abide by the terms of his or her divorce settlement, he or she can be held in contempt. In general, there are two kinds of contempt: "civil contempt," which requires a person to perform their legal obligations, and "criminal contempt," which results in fines and jail time. Falling behind in child support payments or reducing the amount paid may result in a civil contempt charge. Refusing to pay child support altogether could result in criminal contempt, resulting in garnished wages, attorneys fees, even jail.
Defenses Against a Charge of Contempt
If you are unable to pay child (or spousal) support because of illness or job loss, a legitimate reason exists for your failing to comply with the terms of your divorce. While the court may adjust your payment schedule and attach interest for any back-owed support, you may be able to avoid a criminal contempt charge and additional fines or fees.
Avoiding Contempt and Enforcement Proceedings
It's important to remember oral or written contracts between ex-spouses are not enforceable and have no weight in court. If you and your ex-spouse agree to change visitation schedules, custody arrangements, or support payments without approval by the court, both of you could be subject to fines and other penalties.
If you have questions regarding an enforcement or contempt issue, contact Orlando family law attorney Kenneth D. Morse today.