Although Spring 2020 has been marred by riots and the coronavirus, we continue working with clients to resolve complex family law matters. Our staff is taking every precaution to comply with social distancing measures as we return to working out of our office. We will continue to offer phone and video conferencing options to our clients.

Contempt Order

People find themselves in contempt of court for many different reasons, although all of them have to do with a function of the court itself. Within family law, contempt of court usually occurs when someone violates a civil court order. Courts usually come to this conclusion after examining the filed complaint by the other party or law enforcement and then conducting a formal hearing.

Filing for a motion of contempt against a respondent who refuses to follow through with their legal obligation is a serious action. Typically, courts do not want to place someone in contempt of court unless absolutely necessary. This is especially true in cases where the respondent is a parent. There are legal actions one can perform first before considering filing a motion. If these preliminary steps fail, then filing a motion might make sense.

Sometimes, however, a motion for contempt of court occurs because one party in the order cannot reasonably meet the requirements of a court order. When the contempt hearing begins, the respondent can argue the court order is unreasonable by utilizing evidence from aspects of their life that are impacted by the unfair burden. They can then attempt to convince the judge that modifications are needed to make the court order fair.

Family law is complex. Emotions tend to run high, frustrations seem to increase exponentially, and tension between disputing parties grows as time passes. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. Contacting a qualified Seattle family lawyer can make the process much simpler.


Attorney for Contempt Orders in Seattle, WA

When one party in a court order/agreement refuses to follow through with their obligation, the situation can quickly sour. It can be due to unpaid child support or spousal support and in other cases, it’s a failure to meet obligations about spending time with children such as going over the allotted time. In some instances, a person is simply tasked with an unreasonable burden that they can’t meet. Whatever the circumstance is, legal action is necessary to resolve the situation.  

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