For many California couples, a divorce order is not necessarily the end of their dealings with one another. The judge’s signature on a divorce order does not automatically complete the stipulations the court included in the final decree. Both sides must still follow through on those orders, seek a post-divorce modification or face charges for contempt of court.

How to prevent contempt charges

Either side may seek the court’s intervention when an ex-spouse fails to comply with a divorce order. This may include failing to pay child support, pay spousal support, cooperate with child custody schedules or comply with court-ordered asset division. When an ex-spouse is willfully in violation of a divorce order, the other spouse may take steps to hold him or her in contempt of court.
Filing a motion to hold an ex-spouse in contempt of a court order means the injured party has the responsibility of proving the violation in court, such as presenting a log of custody violations. When a court who finds someone guilty of contempt for violating a divorce order, he or she may not necessarily serve jail time. However, with the authority of a judge’s order, the other spouse may finally obtain the outcome he or she anticipated at the end of their divorce.
Certain factors may cause a spouse to violate a court order, such as a financial downturn that prevents the timely payment of support. If this is the case, seeking a post-divorce modification may offer a much more positive outcome than facing a contempt charge. Anyone in California facing these challenges would be wise not to handle them without the skill and experience of an attorney.