Contempt of Court – Family Law Attorney

At The Betz Law Firm, our family law firm is here to help you with contempt of court issues.

When navigating divorce and family law matters, “contempt of court” often emerges as a significant legal concern. At The Betz Law Firm, we are committed to helping our clients understand the implications of contempt and how to handle such issues effectively.

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The staff is very professional and friendly and comforting to their clients (the children). They definitely put us all at ease during an uncomfortable time.David himself is very easy to talk to, and both of my kids really liked him. I am very impressed with their involvement in our case. He has been easy to work with and good at getting back to us in a timely manner with issues regarding our case.I would highly recommend his office to anyone in need of legal help for their children.10 months later...I wanted to add, we have been in this case for 22 months and it’s about to wrap up. David has been amazing. My 16 year old daughter had kind of lost her faith in the system and in adults - David really worked with her and helped hold her accountable, but also gave her a voice, great advice, and really won her over. She really trusts him. When she was struggling, she would ask to call David. When I was struggling with her, I would threaten to call David and she would become more agreeable. She really trusts and respects him. Which for me, takes a unique skill set. Not everyone can get an unhappy teen to comply and also still keep their trust and respect. My son loved David too. Both kids looked forward to our apts with David. Which when you are fighting a child support/ custody case and your drained, it’s so nice to have parts of the process be so easy and helpful. And that’s what we got from David and his staff.David has offered to be available if he can help after the case with questions or getting a teenager in line. They were understanding and more than fair with my payment options. Joel, his assistant- is a joy to talk to and prompt to respond and he chatted with the kids and put them at ease in a very uncomfortable situation. I can’t say enough good things about them.We drive past their office every day on the way to school and my daughter said she wanted to stop by and take David a Christmas present. That’s pretty impressive for a 16 year old.They really made a very unbearable situation so much better; David even made us smile and laugh during a very nerve wracking time.I would highly recommend them to anyone. Definitely 5 plus stars!
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When a St. Louis court makes final custody and child support agreements, both parties are expected to follow the terms, especially considering that a parenting plan drawn up by both parties is the basis of the agreement. If one parent violates the terms laid out in the agreement, the court can punish him or her. This could include, but is not limited to, fines and jail time.

Violation of custody and support agreements is taken very seriously by the state of Missouri. These were made in the best interest of a child whose rights to a healthy relationship with both parents have been jeopardized. When a parent has difficulty getting the other parent to obey these terms, our firm will do its best to help rectify the situation with as little disruption to the child’s life as possible. Our goal is not to put disobeying parents behind bars but to get them to act responsibly and in the best interest of their children.

Child Support and Contempt of Court

Parents have a legal obligation to support their minor children. Once a St. Louis court has accepted a child support agreement between two parties, the non-custodial parent is bound to make such payments per the decree. Failing to do so is considered contempt of court and is a punishable offense.

There are other forms of enforcement that our legal team will try with a delinquent parent before a contempt of court order is filed:

  • Wage Deduction: This is a request for income to be withheld directly from the delinquent parent’s paycheck to meet their child support responsibility.
  • Income Tax Refund Interception: Federal income tax refunds can be seized to help cover the cost of missing child support payments.
  • Driver’s License Restrictions: On your behalf, we can request that the paying parent’s driver’s license and/or professional license be restricted or revoked until payments have been restored.
  • Passport Restrictions: Parents who are not making their child support payments may be unable to obtain or renew a United States passport.
  • Contempt of Court: The outcome of these proceedings varies from case to case, but in most cases, the delinquent parent is subjected to fines in addition to having to pay the missing, court-ordered child support payments. For repetitive offenders, a judge may deem some jail time appropriate.

Our firm has worked with all support enforcement scenarios, including spousal support, alimony, and failure to pay medical insurance. These sensitive issues require a clear understanding of how the laws protect your rights and those of your children in St. Louis. Support enforcement is only available if a St. Louis court has previously ordered it.

Child Custody and Contempt of Court

Violating custody agreements is particularly disturbing, as it interferes with a child’s ability to spend quality time with a non-custodial parent. A St. Louis court signs off on custody agreements after considering the best interests of the children, so non-compliance with them is seen as a serious offense that is disruptive to the child’s growth and well-being.

As with support enforcement, our firm strives to amend child custody issues so as not to affect the children involved adversely. Our main objective is to help you restore an arrangement in the children’s best interest. We have dealt with a variety of different circumstances involving contempt of court and child custody, including:

  • Communication Interference: Custody and visitation are about more than having your child with you physically. For Missouri parents, it is also about maintaining a healthy relationship with their child. If one parent does not permit communication between a child and his parent through phone calls, text messages, or any other means, they could be held in contempt.
  • Not Allowing Visitation: A custodial parent cannot prevent scheduled visits directly or indirectly by planning events or activities during visitation times. If there is cause for stopping visitation, our firm can help you file a custody modification request. Otherwise, a parent could be held in contempt for violating the court-ordered terms of the custody agreement.
  • Not Allowing Visitation for Non-Payment of Child Support: Child support and custody are separate matters, and a custodial parent cannot try to enforce support by withholding access to the child. If you are having difficulties collecting your child support, we can assist you with filing your own contempt paperwork, but not allowing court-appointed visitation will only worsen your situation.
  • Taking the Child Without the Other Parent’s Knowledge or Permission: If the non-custodial parent takes your child without prior knowledge, they can be subject to contempt of court charges, especially if they leave Missouri or the United States.
  • Not Complying With a Visitation Schedule: A Missouri court agreed to a custody agreement based on the needs of a child. A parent not showing up for his or her scheduled visitations without good cause can be found to be in contempt of that order.

Contempt of Court Attorney

Our firm takes the violation of support and custody orders as seriously as the St. Louis family court system. We know, as you do that these orders were made to protect your child and provide them with an environment they can thrive in. We use every available resource to ensure that their needs are being met like the St. Louis judge who signed off on the order meant for them to be.

Speak With an Experienced Attorney

Our firm uses experience, good communication, and availability to help families navigate life-changing events.