What Happens if I’m in Contempt During my CA Family Law Case?

Pleasanton CA divorce prenuptial attorneyWhen navigating a family law matter or court rulings, it goes without saying that it’s critical for you to follow all the rules, orders, and rulings handed down by the courts. The honor system won’t cut it for family law matters, and the courts have mechanisms that allow them to enforce these rulings and penalize those who disobey or go against the court’s wishes. This is known as “contempt of court.”

Penalties for being found in contempt are often at the court’s discretion, which itself is influenced by the specific circumstances at hand. Today, we’re discussing the main reasons that people find themselves in contempt of family law court. We’ll also look at potential consequences if you happen to find yourself on the wrong side of a contempt charge during your CA family law case. 

Reasons for a Family Law Court to Find Someone in Contempt

Despite the potential serious consequences it can carry, people regularly break family law court rules and orders and find themselves in contempt. However, the courts don’t automatically swoop in to enforce the order but rather a grievance is usually initiated by the other party. Here are the most common reasons for individuals to file contempt proceedings against the other party:

  • Failure to comply with child or spousal support orders or payments
  • Violation of custody orders or deviations from established parenting plan
  • Violations of restraining orders 
  • Actions that the courts might construe as deliberate attempts to cause parental alienation between the child and the other party
  • Other clear and blatant violations of any court orders handed down by a family law court in CA 

Consequences for Contempt Charges in CA Family Law Court

As mentioned, the consequences can vary from complaint to complaint, and the courts try to hand down a punishment that is fitting for the specific violations. A conviction could carry a range of penalties from up to 120 hours in community service, potentially upwards of 5 days in jail, fines not to exceed $1000, and even loss of parental or custodial rights. Given the consequences at play, those who are facing any contempt charges in a family court in CA need to ensure that they consult with a knowledgeable divorce attorney ASAP. 

Chat With Our Skilled CA Family Law Attorneys Today

If you suspect that the ex is engaged in any actions that fall under contempt of court, your first step should be to consult with a family law attorney. Likewise, if you find yourself accused of violating any family law orders or rulings, you need to act fast by contacting qualified legal counsel at the earliest opportunity.

At White Oak Law, we’re here to help with any family law matters you may be navigating in CA, including potential contempt of court cases or accusations. Call us today to connect with our team of legal experts and book an appointment by reaching out to us at 925-271-099.