Massachusetts Divorce Contempt Action and Family Law Attorneys

Helping Families in Wellesley & Greater Metrowest

Dedicated Divorce and Family Law Attorneys throughout Massachusetts

A court order or judgment requires both parties to comply with its terms. However, sometimes, one party does not comply with his or her court-ordered obligation. If this happens, the other party can seek relief through Court for the non-complying party to comply with the court-ordered obligation. This is through a Complaint for Contempt.

In order to find a party in contempt of court, the Court must find that there is a clear court order or judgment and that the non-complying party willfully disobeyed the court order or judgment. A complaint for contempt can be filed while the underlying case is ongoing or after a judgment enters.

At the contempt hearing where both parties must be present, the burden is on the party who filed the Complaint for Contempt to prove to the Court that there was a clear order or judgment and a willful violation of the order or judgment. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court could have the parties testify under oath as to the issue in dispute and review documentation that supports either party’s position.

The underlying issue of a contempt action could be a parenting issue such as one parent’s withholding of the court-ordered parenting schedule or could be a financial issue such as non-payment of child support, alimony, or reimbursement of child-related expenses. If the issue is financial in nature, the party who filed must prove to the Court that the other party had the financial ability to comply with the order or judgment at the time the order or judgment was violated and currently has the financial ability to comply with the order or judgment.

Contempt actions are not always as straightforward as you would think. The team at Karpenski & Schmelkin has years of experience in contempt actions, no matter how complicated the issues may seem. During this emotionally charged time, you need a law firm that has experience handling contempt issues, that has your best interests at the forefront and treats you as an individual.

Contact Karpenski & Schmelkin to schedule a consultation and answer any questions you may have about contempt actions.