Enforcing a Court Order in Florida – Contempt of Court
Having troubling enforcing your divorce agreement?
When filing for divorce, you and your former spouse will need to agree upon several different matters of the separation—including property division, child custody, child support and alimony payments. Although this can be done through mediation or uncontested divorce proceedings, most divorces are handled through the court system.
This means that a judge will make the final decision about these contentious issues. Once everything has been sorted out, the divorce agreement will be finalized—effectively making it a court order that is enforceable by law. Should either party fail to uphold their end of the bargain, the other can subsequently take measures to enforce the order. This may start with both parties sitting down and discussing the matter at hand, but if nothing has been resolved, court intervention may be necessary.
Involving the Court to Enforce the Court Order in Jacksonville, FL
If you have already attempted to speak with your former spouse about abiding by the terms of your divorce agreement, but to no avail, the next step would be to take the matter to court. This may be necessary in the event that your ex-partner has failed to pay child support or they have knowingly violated the terms of your child custody arrangement.
By bringing this to the attention of the court, a judge can take steps to legally enforce the order. They can choose to do so in one of many ways, but the most likely scenario is that they will hold your former spouse in contempt of court until they decide to cooperate—which means that they will be held in jail. Although this course of action may seem extreme, the judge will give them a chance to provide a valid reason for violating the order and/or give them the opportunity to comply.
How to Initiate Civil Contempt / Enforcement Proceedings
In the state of Florida, you must file a motion with the court in order to initiate civil contempt / enforcement proceedings. In this motion, you will be asked to explain which part of the divorce agreement the other party has violated. From there, you will need to file this motion with the clerk of the circuit court in the county where your case was filed—as a copy of the form will be used to serve your former spouse.
Once this has been done, the court will set a hearing date for you and your ex-spouse. Before attending this hearing, however, there are several important forms that you will need to complete—preferably with the assistance of a competent lawyer—including the Notice of Hearing on motion for Contempt/Enforcement, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Forms 12.961 and 12.921 and Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure Form 12.920. Click here for more information about these forms.
Let My Jacksonville Divorce Lawyers Fight on Your Behalf
If you are interested in enforcing a court order in Florida, you should not hesitate to consult with the Jacksonville divorce attorney at Charles E. Willmott, P.A. My firm has been assisting clients with these contentious legal issues for a number of years, so you can rest assured that I can handle your case in an efficient and painless manner.
To get started, pick up the phone and contact my office today. When you call at (904) 849-5183, you will have the opportunity to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced attorney.