Finding a party in contempt can only come into play after the Court has issued final judgments, orders or decrees. These final judgments, orders or decrees establish and govern the obligations of the parties.
It is imperative that the parties follow all of the Court orders to the best of their ability and, at the same time, to take note of any potential violations that occur by the other party. Courts have been known to take it personally especially when a parent disregards the Court orders that pertain to the minor child(ren).
In the event of a party failing to follow the Court order, evidence can be produced to show that the other party has willfully disregarded a Court decree. If the Court goes on to rule that the party is in contempt of the Court order, then the Court can reprimand the party in contempt by issuing a new order and in some cases make them pay monetarily for the contempt. This can include making a monetary payment of the other party. This could include an award of attorney’s fees.
Conditions of Contempt
To find a party guilty of contempt, the court cannot simply conclude that the accused party did not act in accordance with the decree. The court must also conclude that the accused party did have the ability to comply and therefore violated the decree both deliberately and without good reason.
It is then up to the accused to present evidence, or show cause as to why he or she did not have the ability to comply with the Court order. Contempt can be can be a very powerful tool. It simply requires evidence.