Can Unrelated Issues Be Addressed At Contempt Of Court Hearings?

baltimore divorce lawyerQuestion:

What issues can be address during contempt of court hearings in a family law matter?

I filed for contempt of court because my ex-wife is refusing my visitation rights, but she is threatening to bring up other unrelated parts of the divorce decree that she says I am not following.

So what happens during a contempt hearing? Can her divorce lawyer bring up other issues related to the decree?


I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Maryland divorce laws where I am licensed to practice.

Generally, a petition for contempt of court is filed in matters where there is already an existing court order that the other party is in violation of. Therefore, in order to best address you question, I am presuming that there is a court order granting you visitation. If there is no court order granting you parenting time, then you may need to file a Petition for Custody or Visitation instead of a Petition for Contempt of Court.

In a hearing for contempt, the matters that will be addressed are the matters that you have set forth in your petition. So, if you have stated in your complaint that your son’s mother has refused you visitation, you may address that issue. Likewise, you may address any other issue that you have stated in your petition.

At the hearing you will be allowed to present any evidence you have regarding the matters you have set forth in your petition. Your evidence can include testimony and exhibits, though, it will need to comply with the applicable rules of evidence. Most likely, your ex-wife will be allowed to cross-examine any witnesses you have, and she will be allowed to put on her own defense.

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Contempt Of Court

Ultimately, most states use the “best interest of the child” standard when addressing matters regarding children. So it is important that you keep in mind what is in your child’s best interest when you move forward with this matter. You should be able to articulate to the court why the relief you are asking for is in your child’s best interest.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Baltimore, Maryland Divorce Lawyer Rebecca Ripley, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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One comment on “Can Unrelated Issues Be Addressed At Contempt Of Court Hearings?

    Interesting article, but I don’t think it directly answers the question. When the wife puts on her defense, can she as part of the defense raise other issues where she feels the husband has violated the order?

    In other words, are potential violations by the husband relevant and a valid defense in a contempt proceeding violated by husband against wife?

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