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Enforcement of Court Orders in San Diego County

To enforce an order made by the San Diego Court, a party to a family law matter has the option of filing a contempt of court action against the other party. Essentially, the party who has not received the benefit of the court order is requesting the Court punish the offending party by either criminal or civil sanctions.

Theoretically, a party can be sentenced to five days in jail for each count of contempt. Each violation of a court order is considered a separate contempt count.

Proving Contempt of Court

In a contempt action, the attorney for the moving party is acting as a prosecuting attorney and is required to prove the following elements: (1) that a valid court order exists; (2) that the offending party had knowledge of the court order; (3) that the offending party violated the court order; and (4) that the offending party had the ability to comply with the court order.

A contempt action can be useful when other enforcement remedies are not easily available. For example, if a self-employed party fails to pay child or spousal support, the bringing of a contempt action may be effective in gaining future compliance. Another use of a contempt action is if one party has a frequent and ongoing pattern of violating child sharing orders.

Due to the serious consequences of a potential contempt conviction, except for the right to a jury trial, a contempt matter is handled as a criminal trial.

Get Help from Top San Diego Family Lawyers

The Law Offices of Beatrice L. Snider, APC is experienced in both prosecuting and defending against contempt actions in San Diego County, CA. These proceedings are highly technical in nature and require experienced counsel to navigate through the procedures required. Contact our firm today to discuss your case and legal options.

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