Columbus, Ohio Attorneys Well-Versed in Contempt

contempt of court columbus ohio divorce child custody supportA contempt action is where one party believes the other party has violated a prior order of the court. He or she then files a motion asking the Court to hold the other person in contempt and apply appropriate punishments. Ohio has statutes that specifically address what punishments can be applied for a first or second offense, and beyond.

Contempt for Failure to Pay Spousal Support

When the Court orders spousal support, it is advisable to keep careful record of all payments. Sometimes the Court requires the payments to go through the Child Support Enforcement Agency, but other times the payments are made directly. Either way, you should keep a file to record all payments made or received.

If you file a Motion for Contempt, the Court will expect you to prove your case along with any damages you have incurred. The defending party then has an opportunity to present any defense he or she may have. More often than not, the defending party claims he or she was unable to pay the amount ordered, but there is a significant burden of proof associated with this defense. The defending party may also file a Motion to Modify in reaction to the Motion for Contempt.

Contempt for Failure to Pay Child Support

Child support, when ordered, must be paid through the Child Support Enforcement Agency for your county. If your child’s father or mother has failed to stay current on child support, you can request a transcript from the Agency that shows every payment made and distributed on the case. The transcript will also show you the total “arrearage” (back support) owed to you.

If the obligor (person ordered to pay child support) is significantly behind, it is likely the Child Support Enforcement Agency has already made some efforts to recoup the amounts owed. However, it is still possible for you to file for contempt, as well, and possibly seek recoupment of your costs in doing so.

Contempt for Disobeying the Court Ordered Parenting Time Schedule

If one of the parties to a court ordered parenting time schedule has not complied, such as by withholding the child during the other parent’s time, this is grounds for a contempt action.

Other Types of Contempt

Other types of contempt may include failing to supply information to the other party as required by a court order, failing to properly submit a qualified domestic relations order, failing to sell or deliver property as required by a divorce decree. In essence, whenever the Court makes an order and one of the parties does not comply, this may be grounds for contempt. If you think the other party to your court orders has failed to comply with the terms, you should consult with one of our attorneys to determine the best course of action.

If you are considering filing a contempt action or are faced with prospect of defending a contempt action, our attorneys can help. Call our Columbus, Ohio office at (614) 567-3031 today to schedule an initial consultation. If you hire us, we will credit your account with the cost of your initial consultation.