Spouse was found in contempt of our custody order. What now?


My spouse was found in contempt of our custody order at a hearing to show cause in Orange County late last month. She was refusing to deliver one of our minor children to school, and willfully removing our other children regularly.

My spouse has not ceased this pattern of behavior. It is a private school, and pursing the matter via the truancy court has been a challenge.

How can I get some traction on this? Do I need to have my spouse served again so the Judge will take some action?


If your spouse was held in contempt, the judge should have indicated some sort of consequence. However, sometimes judges will hold a party in contempt and then order them to strictly follow the court date without a separate consequence.

If your spouse continues to willfully violate the order, then you should file a motion for order to appear and show cause (i.e. “contempt motion”) each time she commits a violation.

Talk with the school officials and see if/when they intend to bring criminal charges against your spouse. School officials will typically do this once a child has 10 unexcused absences in a school year.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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