When Might I Get Charged With Contempt of Court in a New Jersey Divorce?
If you have ever watched a legal drama, you have probably heard a judge threaten to hold someone in contempt of court. But what does this actually mean? More importantly, what kinds of consequences might you face if you are found in contempt of court? New Jersey divorces are serious legal matters, and judges presiding over these trials do not offer any special treatment to anyone. After all, everyone is held to the same standards in court, and justice is (at least in theory) blind. So what happens if you face this charge during your divorce?
The first thing you need to know is that this situation is always avoidable. In the end, it often comes down to your choice of attorney. It is your lawyer’s job to keep you on the right side of the law during your divorce, and they should be doing everything they can to avoid this eventuality. If you are held in contempt of court, it is usually because your lawyer has failed in some way. This is why it is so important to enlist the help of a qualified, experienced attorney if you are going through a divorce in New Jersey.
What Does “Contempt of Court” Mean?
Generally speaking, individuals are held in contempt of court when they are disrespectful toward a court of law and its officers. You may be held in contempt of court if you are unruly and disobedient during the proceedings in a courtroom. For example, speaking out of turn, interrupting people, and generally disrupting and preventing the legal process may constitute contempt of court.
In the context of a divorce, it is much more likely that you will be charged with contempt of court for violating a court order. In the United States, there are two types of contempt: direct contempt (disobedience in front of a judge) and indirect contempt (violating a court order). Examples of court orders include child support payment orders, alimony orders, child custody agreements, and property division rulings. If you violate any of these court orders, you will likely be held in contempt of court.
What is the Penalty for This Offense?
If you are charged with contempt of court in New Jersey, the judge will typically give you time to comply with the court order. After this warning period is over, you may be fined or even sent to jail. These consequences may seem harsh, but make no mistake – people do get put behind bars for contempt of court.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you are dealing with a divorce in New Jersey, there is no reason you should be dealing with these issues. All you need to do in order to avoid these situations is hire a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in New Jersey. Choose Giro, LLP, Attorneys at Law, and you can proceed with your divorce in a confident, efficient manner. We have considerable experience with numerous divorce cases in the Garden State, and we can help you approach this situation in the right way.