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Can you hold your child’s other parent in contempt?

On Behalf of | Sep 17, 2021 | Divorce

It can seem like it takes forever to get final resolution to a child custody or child support dispute. You diligently work to gather evidence to support your position, engage in negotiations, and perhaps even litigate the matter. Yet, even when all is said and done, the issues that you thought were put to rest can crop up at any time. This is especially true when one parent fails to abide by an active court order.

When this happens, you need to consider what you can do to obtain compliance with the court’s order. While you might be able to resolve the matter amicably and without the court’s involvement, in some instances it’s best to file a motion for contempt.

Mississippi’s motion for contempt

The goal of a motion for contempt is two-fold. First, you want to bring your child’s other parent back into compliance with the court’s order. Second, you might want to use their non-compliance as a justification to seek modification. Before you can attain those goals, though, you have to succeed on your motion.

This starts with filing a motion that specifies which specific court order has been violated, how it was violated, when it was violated, and any other information that may demonstrate that the violation of the court order was intentional. Once that motion has been filed and given to the other parent, the court will set the matter for a hearing where you’ll be able to present evidence and the other parent will have the opportunity to defend himself or herself.

The outcome of a contempt finding

If your child’s other parent is found to be in contempt, then he or she may be jailed or fined. This can be more than enough to scare him or her back into compliance, and you may be able to use a contempt finding to show that a child custody modification is appropriate and in your child’s best interests. These matters can be challenging, of course, which is why it’s imperative that you have a full understanding of the law and how to use it to your advantage before proceeding with your case.