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Contempt the Family Access Motion The Marks Law Firm
After your divorce has been finalized andCustody arrangements have been established in the Parenting Plan, what if one of theparents fails to live up to their end of the bargain? For example, what happens if yourformer spouse prevents you from exercising your right to visit your child?As you can imagine, troubling situations like this can and do happen, but fortunately youdo have a couple of ways to ensure compliance. First, you may choose to file a Family AccessMotion with the court. A Family Access Motion allows a parent denied rightful periods ofphysical custody to bring the matter expeditiously before the court in a more informal manner.If the court finds that periods of custody
have in fact been denied, the court will ordercompensatory time and may also award attorney fees. If the problems seem more complicated or extensivethan just missed periods of physical custody, the other option is to file a Motion for Contempt.Unlike the Family Access Motion, the Motion for Contempt is a more formal legal proceedingrequiring the movant to set out all the grounds for contempt â€“ the facts stating what theother parent has done that is in plain conflict with the Judgment of the court. The courtwill issue a Show Cause Order, requiring the other party to respond and appear in courtto answer the charges of contempt. In a contempt
proceeding, the court has more options tocure the contempt than in a Family Access Motion.In order for the court to hold a parent in contempt, the court must find that the parentacted willfully and knowingly â€“ the party knew about the provisions of the Judgmentat issue and willingly chose to ignore them without a justifiable excuse. No case is ever a â€œsure thingâ€� â€“ a partyseeking to hold the other party in contempt has to meet the burden of proof, which insome cases can be challenging, and a party defending a contempt motion is not automaticallyheld in contempt, as the circumstances may