Contempt of court is when a judge finds that you disobeyed a lawful order of a court, showed disrespect for the judge, or disrupted court proceedings through bad behavior. You risk up to six months in jail for not paying child support. You also may be fined up to $500 for each violation and have to pay attorney’s fees and court costs. It is common for a judge to also order that the child support obligor, found in contempt, remain in jail until all or a portion of the child support arrearage is paid.
If a court finds you in contempt, it has the option to sentence you to a jail term, order you to pay fines, or place you on community supervision (probation). Additionally, you must pay your child support in full and on time, make extra payments toward the child support arrearage, pay probation fees as ordered, and pay the attorney fees of the other party, if ordered.
If you believe the other parent is in contempt of court, you must have proof of when and how the other parent violated the order.
One way to keep track of all of this evidence is to keep a visitation journal. If you end up having to go to court, it will help you organize your evidence. You will want to mention each and every violation in the motion that you file with the court, so the judge knows what is happening in your case.
The visitation demand kit will cover these three things:
1. What you want to happen
2. Proof of what did not happen
3. Prove that you gave the other side at least 10 days’ notice so they can attend and be heard.