There are penalties for ignoring orders made by Utah courts in divorce, custody, or other family law cases. If you are waiting for child support, alimony, or money from someone, this is good news. It is also good news if the other parent is giving you trouble with custody or parent time. But, if you are the one behind on payments or creating custody problems, it is bad news.
Either way, the attorneys at Christensen Law can give you a hand. You will need help putting your case together or preparing your defense. If you are putting a case together, legal assistance can be a good investment. If you are defending, assistance can help you avoid penalties. Each case is unique, but below are some general tips that may be helpful. Our firm offers free half- hour consultations if you would like to delve into your specifics.
Documentation is Key
If you want to prove that the other party has done something wrong, you need to prove it. Vague allegations or defenses are not ideal. If you are facing an accusation that you have not made payments, your best defense is proofs of payment. If you are being denied parent time, you will want to show up a calendar.
Make it Worth Your Time or Your Attorney’s Time
Attorney fees for order to show cause documents and the hearings can easily exceed $1,000-$2,000. This is particularly true if the attorney and his/her staff must sift through a lot of material. Therefore, you might not want to bring an order to show cause for small things. However, the prevailing party is sometimes awarded attorney fees. Though, the other party might not be paying child support or alimony because of a lack of money. In which case, it might not be worth putting them in a position where they spend money on an attorney.
You Must Prove Specific Things
Courts do not penalize people just because the opposing party is unhappy or does not like them. The complaining party must prove the specific elements of contempt. Generally, they need to show the other party knew of the order, failed/refused to comply, and could have complied.