When a person willfully and intentionally disobeys a court order, he/she is said to be in contempt of court. In a family law situation, contempt of court is typically said to have occurred when a person violates provisions that have been established by a court order.
Under Colorado’s Rules Of Civil Procedure Rule 107, contempt of court is defined as “disorderly or disruptive behavior” or any conduct that interferes with the restoration of justice, or interferes with the lawful writ or any order of the court.
Colorado laws define two types of contempt – direct and indirect.
Direct contempt refers to behavior or actions that may be punishable immediately. In these cases, the behaviors are so extraordinary that the court may not even deliver any warning. For instance, when a person talks back to the judge, he may be in direct contempt of the court. In other cases, the behavior might have been repeated in spite of the court’s warning to the person to refrain from such behaviors.
The more common form of contempt is indirect contempt of court. Such contempt is believed to have occurred when a person acts outside the presence of the court. For example, if a person fails to pay child support when he has been required to do so, or fails to pay premarital debt, or spousal debt, or fails to abide by the provisions of a visitation or parenting plan, he may be in indirect contempt of court.
Some common scenarios which may lead to a contempt of court situation in Colorado, are when one parent refuses to allow the other parent access to the child according to the directives that are clearly established in the visitation or parenting plan, or when one parent refuses to return the child to the other parent at the end of the visitation period.
A person may be in contempt either by actions, like when he violates a restraining order against him, or when he fails to act, as in when he fails to pay child support. In fact, some of the more common situations involving contempt of court in Colorado are child support cases. If the husband has failed to pay child support for several months, he may be in contempt of the court. In such cases, the other parent may move a court for relief through a contempt of court citation.
If you are currently facing a contempt of court citation, or wish to pursue a contempt action, speak with an experienced family lawyer at our firm. We offer a FREE consultation. Contact us today 303-956-3580.