What does it mean to be held in contempt?
Someone gets held in contempt for disobeying or disrespecting a judge or court processes.
The person committing these actions gets “held in contempt.”
Being held in contempt leads to fines and imprisonment.
When you are held in contempt, it means you:
After your contempt of court is recognized by the judge, you will be held in contempt.
Meaning you will be held responsible for your actions.
Being “held in contempt” means that you are getting any of the following:
You will be “held in contempt” until the contempt of court punishment is delivered.
Contempt of court in family law is when someone intentionally disobeys a court order.
In family law, someone is held in contempt if they:
Contempt of court punishment is:
The contempt of court punishment depends on the type of contempt.
For civil contempt, the common contempt of court punishments are:
For criminal contempt, the common contempt of court punishments are:
Punishment for contempt of court in family court depends on the type of contempt.
There is civil contempt and criminal contempt of court in family court.
Civil contempt of court in family court refers to non-monetary actions.
For example, it’s civil contempt of court if you miss visitation schedules.
Criminal contempt of court in family court refers to monetary actions.
For example, it’s criminal contempt of court if you don’t pay child support.
The punishment for contempt of court in family court if it’s civil contempt is:
The punishment for contempt of court in family court if it’s criminal contempt is:
Let’s talk about the consequences of being held in contempt.
Disobeying a family court order will cause you to get held in contempt.
The consequences for being held in contempt include fines and jail time.
But the severity of consequences depends on the court order you are breaking.
Let’s say a restraining order or domestic violence protective order gets broken.
This is considered a Class A1 misdemeanor.
And this is punishable by up to 150 days in jail.
A second violation of these protective orders is a Class H felony.
This is punishable by up to 33 months in prison.
Being held in contempt for violating child custody and support can lead to:
This contempt of court punishment is not the first action the courts will take.
They will give you warnings and fines before they send you to prison.
For example, let’s say you don’t pay child support.
The courts will make you pay a lump sum of the missed payments.
And they may fine you for missing them.
But if you don’t make up the payments, they will send you to jail.
How long you can be held in contempt ranges from a couple of days up to 33 months in jail.
How long you can be held in contempt of court depends on:
For minor civil contempt, you could just receive a warning.
For repeated offenses, you could get held in contempt until court orders are modified.
For example, let’s say you never show up for child visitation.
The judge will change the custody orders.
Once that’s complete, you’re no longer held in contempt.
But let’s look at major criminal contempt.
Let’s say you repeatedly violate restraining orders.
You can be held in contempt for up to 33 months of serving jail time.