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Non-Compliance with Divorce Decree


A very common issue that arises in Colorado divorce and custody cases is contempt of court. Contempt of court cases, in regards to divorce/custody issues, occur when one party does not follow the court’s orders of payment of child support, maintenance, visitation, or any other clear rulings.

Divorce contempt of court is governed by Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 107, which indicates that there are two types of contempts: direct and indirect. A direct contempt of court is the one you will see on TV shows like Law & Order in which a judge will hold an uncooperative witness or attorney in contempt and send him off to the slammer for a day or order a fine to be paid.

The Colorado divorce lawyers at the Harris Law Firm don’t really deal much with direct orders of contempt. However, we deal with indirect contempt of court a great deal as contempt charges are often brought by one party against another for violating court orders. When enforcing a divorce decree, being in contempt is offensive to the court because a court order has been violated, and that is not taken lightly.

Contempts may be either “remedial” or “punitive.” As the name indicates, punitive contempts result in punishment such as jail time or fines. Remedial contempts seek a remedy to the violation of the court’s order rather than punishment. Those remedies often include reimbursement for unpaid child support or maintenance, make-up for lost parenting time, or attorney’s fees. In some extreme cases, both remedial and punitive contempt charges are sought.

If you have a question regarding divorce contempt in Colorado, a legal expert at the Harris Law Firm can assist you.