It’s hard enough to go through a divorce, especially when kids are part of the equation. But once the arrangements have been made and the divorce is finalized, many of us breathe a huge sigh of relief. We figure things are set now, and we can work on rebuilding our lives and do our part when it comes to parenting.

Violations of child custody, visitation, and support terms are also addressed by enforcement proceedings.

Often, a Petition for a Rule to Show Cause is filed with the court. This is simply a legal petition to enforce a court decree, and the spouse that isn’t complying has to explain to the court why they aren’t adhering to the terms. If the noncompliant party can’t provide an adequate explanation, they can be held in contempt of court. The court has a wide degree of latitude when it comes to contempt, and a few of them are:

  • Monetary Sanctions – If the offending party refuses to provide visitation, the court can fine them or force them to pay the attorney fees of the other side.
  • Garnishment – If funds are owed, the court has the power to garnish their wages to collect the funds.
  • Incarceration – If a party isn’t paying child support, or otherwise refuses to comply, the court can have them jailed. However, typically they can be released providing that they pay back the amount that is owed.

If the other party in your case isn’t meeting the terms of your divorce, or you feel you have been wrongly accused of a violation, contact Fredericks and Stephens P.C., Virginia’s choice for family law.