Filing a Contempt Motion

Couple fighting

Filing a Contempt Motion


Navigating family law cases can be emotionally challenging, especially when one party fails to comply with court orders. When a party violates a court order in a family law case in Colorado, filing a contempt motion can be a powerful tool to enforce compliance and protect your rights. In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of filing a contempt motion in a Colorado family law case.

What is contempt of Court?

Contempt of court refers to any deliberate disobedience or disregard of a court order, judgment, or decree. In family law cases, this could involve violations of child custody arrangements, child support orders, spousal maintenance, property division, or any other court-ordered obligations. If this is what has happened:

  1. Consult with your attorney: Before proceeding with a contempt motion, consult your family law attorney. They can provide expert advice tailored to your situation, helping you determine whether filing a contempt motion is appropriate and advise you on the best course of action.
  2. Gather evidence: Strong evidence is crucial for a successful contempt motion. Collect documents, records, photographs, text messages, emails, or any other evidence that clearly shows the other party's violation of the court order. This evidence should establish the following:
    • The existence of a valid court order
    • The specific provision of the order that was violated and when it was violated
    • Proof that the other party had knowledge of the order
    • Proof of the other party's non-compliance
    • Proof that the other party has the ability to comply with the order
  3. Draft the contempt Motion: Your attorney will help you draft the contempt motion. It should include:
    • A clear and concise statement of the court order that was violated
    • A detailed description of the violation, supported by evidence
    • Explanation of how the violation has harmed you or your rights
    • A request for the other party to purge the contempt
    • A request for the court to hold the other party in contempt and impose appropriate sanctions
  4. Filing the contempt Motion: File the contempt motion with the appropriate court. Ensure that you follow the court's procedures for filing, which might involve submitting the motion in person, online, or through the mail. Pay any required filing fees.
  5. Serving the Motion: Serve a copy of the contempt motion to the opposing party in accordance with Colorado's legal requirements. Proper service ensures that the other party is informed of the allegations against them and has the opportunity to respond.
  6. A contempt hearing: If the other party denies the violation or offers a different perspective, a contempt hearing will be scheduled. During the hearing, both parties will present their cases, including evidence and witness testimonies. The judge will then decide whether the violation occurred and whether contempt sanctions are warranted. Sometimes the court will require the parties to try to mediate to come up with a solution for the violation before a hearing.
  7. Possible sanctions: If the court finds the other party in contempt at a hearing, they can impose various sanctions, such as:
    • -Fines or restitution to compensate for losses
    • -Makeup parenting time
    • -Payment for unpaid monies
    • -Attorney's fees and court costs
    • -In extreme cases, jail time

Contact us today at (719) 626-8530 to learn more about how we can help you file a contempt motion.

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