Failure to obey a court order can have serious consequences in family court. A person who has not followed the requirements in a court order may be held in contempt. If you have been served with paperwork alleging that you are in contempt of court, a Corpus Christi TX family lawyer may be able to help.
A person may be held in contempt of court for a variety of reasons, including failure to pay child support, violating a restraining order, not complying with a court-ordered visitation schedule and failure to meet other requirements such as court-ordered drug testing.
The punishment for contempt can range from a fine to imprisonment. In some cases, a judge may order a person jailed until they meet requirements like catching up on child or spousal support payments. If a person has been found in contempt previously, a judge may consider the repeat conduct when ordering a more serious punishment.
To avoid being found in contempt of court, a person may be able to present proof that the allegations are not true. For example, a person is accused of not paying child support can provide banking statements or receipts to show that he or she did provide support. A Corpus Christi family law attorney may be able to assist clients with refuting contempt claims and presenting evidence in court.
A person may also be able to avoid punishment for contempt by complying with previous orders. For example, if a person charged with contempt was ordered to complete drug testing or parenting classes, completing these requirements may be able to satisfy the court and purge the defendant of contempt. In cases that involve visitation non-compliance, future compliance may not be as helpful. It may be possible to prove the violation was not willful or was reasonable under the circumstances.