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Contempt of Court in Westborough Child Custody Cases in Worcester County
When there is an order relating to the custody and support of your children in place, you and your co-parent must abide by all the terms of the order, unless there is a written agreement between the two of you to modify it in some way.
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However, in some situations, there is not an agreement, and one parent may simply refuse to comply with the terms of the Judgment.
Common examples of possible violations include:
- Failing to pay court-ordered child support.
- Refusing to return your children at a designated time.
- Neglecting to take a child to their extracurricular activities.
When this occurs, the non-compliant parent may be held in contempt of court. If you are facing these proceedings or need help initiating them, do not hesitate to reach out to our extraordinary legal team. With over 35 combined years of exclusive family law experience, our team at O’Connor Family Law is prepared to advise and support you throughout this legal process.
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Being in contempt means that you (or your ex) have disregarded or disobeyed a prior order that was very clear without a reasonable explanation. Besides the fee for the summons, there is no filing charge associated with a contempt. Once you receive the summons on a contempt, you do need to pay a constable to serve the other parent of your child. This usually costs between $50 – $100. Many people are hesitant to move forward because they do not believe they can afford going back to court. If you qualify financially, you can file an affidavit of indigency, and the Court will waive the costs associated with the filing fee and the service.
For people who do not feel comfortable going at it alone, there are ways to utilize an attorney that may cost less than hiring one to represent you fully. Our team at O’Connor Family Law is able to represent people on this type of basis.
We do so by meeting with the person to:
- review their case
- helping them fill out paperwork
- help them understand how to present an argument to the Judge
Once the complaint for contempt is filed, your case is docketed with the court and assigned a hearing date. The court then sends you (or your attorney if you hired one to file on your behalf) the formal complaint and the summons. This then needs to be served on the other party within a certain period of time before the hearing. At a contempt hearing, a judge will listen to the evidence and determine whether the other party’s actions constitute contempt of court.
The evidence the filing party presents may consist of:
- their own testimony
- the testimony of any witnesses with personal knowledge of the other parent’s actions
- any documentation that demonstrates the violations of the court order
"O'Connor Family Law and specifically Lydia Field were amazing throughout my entire divorce process. Lydia was so knowledgeable, responsive, and helpful as we worked through the mountains of paperwork."- Sarah M.
"I am so happy with the services Attorney Khan provided, she came in at the last minute after a previous attorney did not fulfil his duties and she found errors he had made, worked all weekend on a rush to finalize my divorce."- Courtney O.
"LaKeshia Parker Smalls and her team were so wonderful throughout my divorce process. I spoke with a few other lawyers before hiring her who made me feel like a burden with all the questions I needed answers to."- Jessica C.
"Sasha Khan worked with me for 10 months on a child custody modification. She had a difficult case with the opposing party, but was very professional and driven to defend me and give advice through a very difficult time in my life."- Shannon W.
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