By Jamie Kinkaid
Cordell & Cordell
Other options include a modification to the divorce decree.
A party who has not followed the order and apparently refuses to follow the same, will be asked to appear in front of the judge and explain or “show cause” why they should not be held in contempt of court for their failure to follow the court order.
In order to be held in contempt in my jurisdiction, it is the burden of the party who has been aggrieved to show that such failure to follow the order was both “willful” and “contumacious.” Should the court find the party who failed to follow the order is in contempt, they will be punished.
In every jurisdiction the “punishment” is different. It can result in taking away parenting time for a specified period of time, fines, a date to come to into compliance, attorney’s fees, and in rare occasions, jail time. A judge typically has wide discretion to determine what is the best option when a party is in contempt.
The Divorce Decree Modification Option
Although some individuals prefer the contempt/show cause route, another option is a modification of your current divorce decree. You will need to check with a local mens divorce attorney, but it has been my experience in my jurisdictions that parties can seek to modify their current divorce orders based on a material change of circumstances.
For instance, take the example of a mother who has failed to honor the father’s visitation rights to his parenting time. In this situation, I might ask the court to grant my client sole custody since the mother has failed to comply, that the order no longer works under the current set of circumstances, and that the best interests of the child dictate a change in custody.
Motions for modification generally require more time, in and out of court, and thorough preparation. The long-term benefits could be worth the effort, however, if you are legitimately unsatisfied.
You must have a lawyer’s assistance for this motion. Do not pinch pennies here. You need a realistic viewpoint if you are going to invest money, time, and emotions for a motion.
This would be as if starting from scratch, and may require discovery, hearings, and possibly a trial. However, this is the best option if you want a long-term change.
I urge you to seek more in-depth legal advice from a qualified divorce lawyer for men in your area to discuss your options further.
Cordell & Cordell has mens divorce lawyers nationwide should you seek additional legal advice or representation.