One of the last steps a judge takes in a divorce case is entering their final decree. Any spouse who violates any portion of this order may face contempt of court charges. There are both civil and criminal penalties associated with doing this.
You may be able to file a contempt motion with the court the moment your former spouse violates any part of the divorce decree. You must clearly state what portion of the court’s order that your ex-husband or wife violated when filing such a motion. It’s your burden, as the person who filed the contempt of court motion, to prove the veracity of the allegation(s).
Specific divorce decree provisions are more commonly violated compared to others. Some of those include child custody, child support, property distribution, alimony and visitation ones. Any spouse found guilty of contempt of court can be indefinitely jailed until they resolve their outstanding issues with the court. A judge will generally allow the accused to rectify the matter before sending them to jail, though.
A judge will typically specify how long it will be before their contempt of court order goes into effect. During that time, the former spouse may petition the judge to suspend their order or let them out of jail early. It’s common for this to happen if the spouse is in jeopardy of losing their job, they don’t have anyone to care for their kids or in instances in which they suffer from emotional or physical disabilities.
If you are facing contempt of court charges, then you shouldn’t take such a situation lightly. You may end up with a criminal record that could have lasting consequences on your life if you end up with a contempt conviction here in Florida.
It may be best to try to work out an amicable resolution with your former spouse to avoid the potential of losing your freedom and future livelihood. An experienced attorney in Fort Myers may be able to help resolve the matter between the two of you before it’s too late.