Understanding The Contempt Process

Janson Cody March 30, 2017 Comments Off on Understanding The Contempt Process
Understanding The Contempt Process

 The power to interpret the laws of the land is vested with the judiciary branch of the government. The highest tribunal in our jurisdiction is called the Supreme Court, which has the power to construct the meaning of the laws enacted by the legislative department. All other courts in the country are also vested with the same power but only those cases promulgated by the Supreme Court become part of the law of the land. With respect to the orders, decisions and decrees issued by the other lower courts, the parties in a particular case must comply with them. Otherwise, they will be held in contempt.

When there is a violation of the orders, decisions or decrees issued by a court, the party who failed to comply with such may become a subject of contempt proceedings. It may lead to criminal prosecution especially if the violator fails to give a justifiable reason for failure to comply with the court orders, decisions or decrees.

For example, if you are a party to a divorce proceeding and the judge issues an order relating to child custody, child support, alimony or other related family legal matters, it is important that you follow whatever the court says. If you are adjudged liable to pay for the support and maintenance of the children, you must comply with the said obligation. Upon your failure to do such thing, the other party may file a contempt case against you. If this happens, you need to immediately contact your lawyer. From the moment summons is served upon you, there is a necessity to talk to your legal counsel and to avoid doing acts without the assistance of your attorney.

On the other hand, if you are the party who suffered damages by reason of the non-compliance of your former spouse of a court order, it is highly recommended that you resort first to the non-judicial remedies. Instead of filing a contempt action in court, you must first try to communicate with your ex. Know the reasons for his or her failure to comply with a particular support or custody order. Only when there is a failure to talk things through with the other party should you institute a case against him or her. Take note that court litigation can be costly and time-consuming.

Another thing that you can do in such situation is to try to negotiate with the other spouse with the presence of your respective lawyers. The court allows modifications in an issued order pertaining to child custody or support as long as it can be shown that there is a change in the circumstances or situation of the parties involved.

(Notes and references: hg.org, martindale.com, wikipedia.org)

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