Carolyn Torres-Mabe, AttorneyIn any divorce, child support, child custody, modification, or legitimation action, the end result is either an agreement between the parties or an order by a judge. The terms of the agreement or within the judge’s order are then enforceable by the court and both parties are expected to comply with those terms. However, if one party does not comply with the agreed upon or court ordered terms, then the other party may file a contempt action with the court. A contempt action outlines the term(s) that was/were required and how the other person failed to comply.  A key issue in any contempt case is whether the party potentially in contempt failed to comply willfully, meaning that he or she was able to comply and chose not to comply. If a party willfully fails to comply, then the judge may find that the person is in contempt of the court order and sanction that person accordingly. However, judges are limited in what sanctions can be applied if a party is found in contempt, in part, by the original agreed upon or court ordered terms. If you are considering filing a contempt action or find yourself the respondent in a contempt action, I can explain the options, represent your interests, and advise you accordingly.

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