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


#1

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?


#2

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

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#3

So, during a recent non-custody related, property division hearing, the same judge shared with us (myself and my former, with her new attorney - yay!) that she had improperly withheld judgement, after finding my spouse in contempt the first time.

She indicated that her only option would have been to send her to jail. She further warned my former that she did not want to have to send her to jail. WHY? She is willfully violating the custody order!

I informed the judge that the contempt behaviors have continued, and that I had filed a new motion, but was informed that I would have to appear at a calendar call to get a new court date for that.

Meanwhile, in the time that has passed since the first contempt trial and since the aforementioned division of property hearing, my oldest daughter was dropped by the school due to her unexcused absences.

Disgusted


#4

Continue to keep track of all of these instances and you can continue to file contempt motions for each instance. But in the event there is a permanent custody hearing or a custody modification hearing for example, all of your documentation on the other parent will come in handy for you to testify to.

Keeping a calendar and organizing the events by date is often a helpful way to document these things.


Anna Ayscue

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

Rosen Online | Unlimited confidential access to a North Carolina attorney for $199/mo - click here

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.