Criminal contempt


In order to prove Criminal Contempt…Do you only need to prove that the Court Order was not followed?
or is it more complicated than that?


Normally family court issues are matters of civil contempt.


What would you need to prove for civil contempt?

I read that they could be in civil and criminal contempt?

Is civil proving willingness or ability? If someone is only paying a portion of what was ordered, then is their a willingness, but no ability?

But if that person is self employed and has complete control over their money making ability, would that not in itself disprove the willingness or the individual, if they are completely responsible for their own income.

If the original court order states that they have the ability and they state they have the willingness, under oath. But then when the order is made, they indicate to others and not to the court that they believe that it is too high of an amount.

So they, pay what they believe is suitable which amounts to $10.00 a day, and then claim, unable to locate work, or claim filing disability?

It seems their is a fine line between willfulness and ability.


If the order which is alleged to be violated is a civil order, a person can be held in contempt in he or she is willfully in violation. If someone is adjudged to not have the ability to comply they will not be held in contempt.
The line of demarcation between criminal and civil contempt is hazy at best. A major factor in determining whether a contempt is civil or criminal is the purpose for which the power is exercised. When a judge intends for the primary purpose of contempt to be preservation of the court’s authority and to punish the disobedience of its orders the result will be criminal, if however the judge’s intention is to provide a remedy to another party, the result is civil contempt which allows the person in contempt to purge themselves by following the order.
As for the specific questions you ask regarding the contemptuous behavior, the judge will make that determination after a hearing.