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When should you file for Contempt?

CUSTODY LAWYER INHow long should you try to work out a problem with your ex? When should you “file for contempt”?  How long should you let this go on before you do something about it?  What should you do?

When making that decision, here are some things you should know about filing a motion for Contempt:

1.  The court will expect you to have tried to work it out in some way before your rush to court.  This does not mean you have to negotiate away your court ordered rights because the other party is dragging his or her feet.  It does mean, in the example of parenting time,  that you will have had to shown up to the exchange point even if the other party insists they will not be there – and you should have proof that you were there, such as a gas station, store or restaurant receipt.  You have to do your part of the court order first, even if they don’t do theirs, and then file for contempt.  Otherwise, they will turn around and file the same motion on you, or your motion will get overruled (thrown out).

2.  Where possible, you should have communicated,  in writing via text, email or a letter to try to resolve any misunderstanding.

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LAWYERS CHILD CUSTODY3.  You should have reviewed your court order to make sure you are reading the court’s order correctly.  Sometimes people prefer to rely on their (faulty) memory rather than read the actual order, and this causes a lot of problems.  Before you start thinking about contempt, read the order, and make sure you understand it.

4.  If you are not sure you understand what your court order requires, you need to talk to an attorney to make sure you do.

CALL NOW at (614) 225-9316

5.  Once you are sure you understand your court order, you need to think about the time frame that a motion for contempt will be heard in your county.  Generally, larger counties have slower dockets and smaller counties have faster dockets.  This means that if you live in a larger (more heavily populated) county, it will take more time for your motion to be heard – and your ex may be holding on to your child that whole time.  Some issues can wait, and some need to get started as soon as possible.

CALL NOW at (614) 225-9316

FAMILY LAWYERVirginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.

DISCLAIMER – Read it, it’s important!

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