Georgia Contempt Family Law Attorneys
Coleman Legal Group, LLC
Following the completion and signing of the final order in superior or family court systems any violation to the order is known as a contempt of court. A contempt of court action is a civil motion for the court to enforce the previous court order. In instances in which a court finds that either party “willfully” violated the court order than the party is found guilty of the contempt and may be subjected to punitive court measures. A court is able to seek criminal ramifications for a civil action in these cases because it is demonstrated that the individual failed to abide by the legal rules set forth by the court system.
The most Common Forms of Contempt of Court:
• Unpaid Child Support
• Ignoring a Parenting Schedule
• Denying Visitation
• Failing to abide by Court ordered Custody Arrangements- exposing a child to indecent materials prohibited under court order.
• Failing to Comply with Property Divisions- selling joint property without permission.
• Failing to pay financial Obligations- bills or joint accounts.
What are the Repercussions of Contempt?
A contempt of court charge may warrant serious sanctions against the guilty party; such as, court fines for each violation, attorney’s fees awarded to the successful party, back fees of payments owed/ reimbursement of cost of properties, and or imprisonment for a stipulated amount of time. During a contempt of court case a judge may not determine a modification of custody or modification of any other legal matter; however, a separate hearing can be entered following the contempt case to address such matters. A contempt charge may also reflect negatively upon a party’s case and can warrant further legal actions that undermine the parties desired legal arrangements. For example a party that is held in contempt for ignoring a parenting schedule multiple times may eventually find that the court is willing to modify the custody based on this contempt- reversing previously decided physical custody.
What to Expect in a Contempt Hearing:
During a contempt hearing both parties will be able to present evidence demonstrating that the contempt took place and was or was not a violation of court order. The primary burden of proof is placed upon the defendant accused of the contempt as evidence should be produced to demonstrate that if the violation occurred that it was not a “willful” action. A general standard constituting contempt is that the parties must have “willfully” committed an action prohibited under court order. For example a party may not be held “willfully” in contempt of a standing order preventing stalking if both party’s accidentally meet at a local supermarket that the defendant is known to frequent. In this instance the accused party may provide proof that they frequent the location via, receipts, bank account records, video surveillance, etc. and that their actions were not “willful” and a simple result of unforeseeable circumstance. Generally if the occurrence is not “willful” or cannot be proven to be “willful” than the court may dismiss the contempt charge or lessen the punitive measures resulting from the contempt charge- depending upon circumstance.
What is the Determining Factor of Contempt?
The court order is the ultimate determining factor of contempt. A person cannot be held in contempt for issues arising from matters not specifically addressed or implied in the court order. If you believe that someone may be acting against the best interest of minor children or may be acting out in ways that may be viewed dis-favorable by the court although not specifically addressed in the current final order than a party may file for a modification of previous order to address these concerns. If the party then fails to abide by the modification order than they may then file for a contempt of court to resolve the issue and enforce the court order. It is important for any instance of contempt to consult with legal counsel to avoid any negative repercussions.
Coleman Legal Group, LLC’s Georgia lawyers practice in the areas of Divorce, Family Law, Estates, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Bankruptcy, Business Law and Immigration. We have offices conveniently located at:
North Point Park
5755 North Point Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30022
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map
|Dunwoody, Sandy Springs
GA 400, Atlanta Georgia
1200 Abernathy Rd
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map
|Johns Creek, Duluth GA
11555 Medlock Bridge Road
Johns Creek, GA 30097
Phone: 770-408-0477 | Map
125 TownPark Drive
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Phone: 770-609-1247 | Map
Georgia Areas We Serve
Coleman Legal Group, LLC’s divorce and family law attorneys handle cases in the following cities and communities: Atlanta, Alpharetta, Roswell, Johns Creek, Milton, Cumming, Marietta, Sandy Springs, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Gainseville, Norcross, Lawrenceville, Midtown, Inman Park, Duluth, Buckhead, Dunwoody, Vinings, Smyrna, Covington, Conyers, Newborn, Mansfield, Oxford, Social Circle, Porterdale, Buford, Sugar Hill and Starrsville.
Our divorce and family law attorneys frequently handle cases for clients residing in the following counties: Fulton, Gwinnett, Forsyth, Cobb, DeKalb, Henry, Cherokee, Douglas, Carroll, Coweta, Paulding, Bartow, Hall, Barrow, Walton, Newton, Rockdale, Henry, Spalding, Fayette, Newton, Walton, Rockdale and Clayton.
Copyright © 2016 | Coleman Legal Group, LLC | All Rights Reserved. Coleman Legal Group, LLC • 5755 North Point Parkway, Suite 52 • Alpharetta, GA 30022 • 770-609-1247 DISCLAIMER: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.