Contempt and Enforcement
Fight to protect your rights and ensure that your court order is followed and enforced appropriately.
Court orders and settlement agreements that cover visitation, child support, or parenting time have the force of the law behind them. Except in reasonable circumstances, all parties involved are bound by the ruling and should adhere closely to the agreed terms.
Unfortunately, there are some situations where not everyone abides by the court order as intended. When this happens, Florida law gives the judge the legal authority to enforce their original ruling. This is where the legal concepts of “contempt” and “enforcement” come into play.
At Myrthil’s Law, P. A., we provide exceptional legal guidance and representation not only to protect your legal rights but also your interests in court proceedings. If your ex-spouse chooses to disregard or ignore the terms laid out for them willfully, we have the knowledge and expertise to help you file a petition to enforce your current order.
Contempt of the Court and Enforcement Actions
Contempt of the court describes a party’s refusal to follow or abide by the terms of an existing judge’s court order, mandate, or decree. Enforcement, on the other hand, is the court requiring the party involved to comply with its prior order.
In family law, contempt of the court and enforcement actions are often due to one parent’s willful refusal or failure to follow the parenting plan, pay child support or honor the time-sharing schedule. If the other party is not following the existing court order, either in full or only partially, that party can be found in contempt, and the judge can impose consequences to force the other party to abide by the terms.
These sanctions can include:
- Suspension of Personal License (e.g., driver’s, hunting or fishing license)
- Suspension of Professional License
- Financial Responsibility of the Attorney and Court Fees
- Deduction of Income
- Interception or Seizure of Assets
- Warrant of Arrest
- Additional Fines
- New Hire Reporting
Filing for Enforcement Order in Florida
You may file a motion of contempt or enforcement in Florida and oblige the other party to comply with the prior court order. In the motion, you must demonstrate evidence that:
- your former spouse has failed or refused to abide by your agreement;
- the current order is valid and enforceable;
- the order was issued by a court in the State of Florida; and
- both parties are aware of the order.
When filing the motion of contempt or enforcement, you must notify the other party that you are taking legal action. Once your motion has been processed and received, the court then sets a date for the hearing where you and your attorney can have the opportunity to show the other party’s inability to comply with the order.
How Myrthil's Law, P. A.
When trying to hold your former spouse accountable for their refusal, failure to understand the intricate process of filing contempt and enforcement may only delay and complicate your case. Our dedicated family law attorney at Myrthil’s Law, P. A. provides sound advice to help clients determine the best legal course to take.
As a trusted firm that has handled numerous family law cases, we have the required knowledge and experience to help clients seek compliance by enforcing all varieties of legal judgment. With us by your side, you can have the peace of mind that your rights are protected, and your case will lead to the most favorable settlement agreement.
Types of Contempt and
Enforcement Actions We Handle
Any issues and conflicts that arise within your existing family setup can potentially bring significant changes in your life. When these happen, you will need an aggressive yet compassionate legal advocate to protect your rights and help you through these emotional times.
Myrthil’s Law, P. A.works closely with clients to develop the most appropriate strategy for their cases. We help clients file contempt and enforcement orders for:
1. Alimony Support
Former spouses who are intentionally ignoring or disregarding their obligation to provide spousal support are considered in contempt of the court, and the court can take several actions to enforce their order.
Suppose some changes in circumstances caused parties to meet their obligations no longer. In that case, they must prove that these changes are beyond their control and could not be anticipated when the original court order was issued.
2. Child Support
If your child’s other parent has stopped paying child support, you have a few options available to enforce the existing order. You can take enforcement actions on your own by hiring our skilled child support lawyer to file a motion for civil contempt.
You can also use the Florida Child Support Enforcement Program to enforce a child support order. This program helps locate the non-custodial parents and attempts to make them pay their past-due and existing child support obligations through enforcement actions, such as intercepting tax refunds, income deductions, and license suspensions.
3. Time-Sharing and Parenting Plan
Parents deprived of their parental and time-sharing rights with their children can pursue contempt and enforcement actions against the other party. Both parties are encouraged to reach an agreement on their own, often through mediation.
However, if the other party refuses to honor the court-ordered time-sharing schedule or a resolution cannot be made, you can continue the process by requesting a hearing date to be set and have a judge make the final ruling.