One of the benefits of having any agreements or decisions about your Raleigh family law case contained in a court order is because there are significant repercussions for those who disobey court orders. When someone willfully disobeys a court order (meaning they do not have an excuse for not complying with the order and have the ability to comply with the order), they can be held in contempt of court.
How Does a Court Order Work?
To illustrate how this can work in our legal system, if you have a situation where the other party is failing to obey a court order, you can file a motion with court asking that an Order to Show Cause be issued. If the judge believes there is a valid basis to enter an Order to Show Cause after reviewing your motion, he or she will do so requiring the party violating the Court Order to appear at a future hearing and “show cause” how they have not violated the Court Order as described in the Motion.
At this hearing, the burden is on the party being accused of violating the court order to show that they have not willfully violated the order in question.
What are the Consequences of Violating a Court Order
One of the consequences of being held in contempt of court is being incarcerated. As a result, parties who are served with an Order to Show Cause have a right to court appointed counsel if they qualify on a financial basis. If the show cause hearing is being held on the same day other claims are being addressed, such a Motion to Modify Custody, they have no right to court appointed counsel except for addressing the issue of contempt.
A party held in contempt can also be ordered to pay the innocent party’s attorney’s fees in having to prosecute the matter. You must request this relief when you file your Motion for Order to Show Cause in order for the judge to be able to make such an award.
You Can be Arrested
If you have an issue where one party is not returning the children when they are due to be returned to you as ordered by the court, you can contact law enforcement to assist you in getting your children back into your custody. Law enforcement does not have authority to do this for child custody agreements (legal contract based custody agreements), only child custody court orders (whether consent orders or orders arising from a trial.)
Learn about Court Orders from a Divorce Attorney in Raleigh
If you have been issued a court order or are in need of one, contact a member of our legal team to discuss your options. We can be reached at 919-301-8843 or completing the contact form below.
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