While the process of obtaining a marital dissolution in Florida can be an emotionally challenging process, most parties presume that once they have obtained a final judgment in their Florida divorce they will not have to revisit the issues of their divorce. Unfortunately, your former spouse may intentionally disregard or fail to comply with the terms of the final judgment or settlement agreement that has been incorporated into the final judgment.
Contempt proceedings typically involve the failure of a party to comply with the support terms, i.e. child support and/or alimony, or provisions requiring the performance of a certain act that is contained in the final judgment or settlement agreement that has been incorporated into the final judgment. On the other hand, contempt is not the proper remedy or enforcement mechanism in disputes over equitable distribution or property settlement.
While contempt actions are more commonly employed to compel compliance with support issues, the contempt process may also be utilized to force the other parent to comply with terms in a parenting plan. Contempt proceedings may provide an effective tool when the other parent refuses to honor time-sharing arrangements, rights of joint decision-making or other orders pertaining to your kids.
Because the judge has the power to impose significant penalties including incarceration or financial penalties, contempt can be a very effective mechanism for forcing a recalcitrant former spouse to comply with court orders. When a family law judge finds that the other party in contempt, the court may also award the reimbursement of attorney’s fees to the party that was forced to initiate contempt proceedings to obtain compliance with the court’s orders.
If your former spouse refuses to comply with the terms of the final judgment in your Florida marital dissolution, our West Palm Beach family law firm will assist you in pursuing your former spouse to obtain compliance with the court’s orders.