What Is Contempt of Court?

What Is Contempt of Court?Following Orders

The court has an authoritative role in our society. The court has the power to order people to do certain things. A court order is an order issued from the court that requires that anyone subject to the order adhere to the rules and stipulations therein. The court expects people to obey and follow the orders. When people do not obey, however, they can be found in contempt of court.

Contempt of court is any behavior that violates a court order, disrupts court procedures, or otherwise is defiant of the authority of the court. You can also be found in what is called civil contempt for failing to fulfill the requirements of a judgment for the benefit of the opposing party. This differs from criminal contempt which results from behavior that more directly disobeys the court. Some good examples of criminal contempt are being disorderly while court is in session, violating rules given to jurors, or violating a domestic violence restraining order. These are criminal offenses for which you can be arrested. You can face fines and/or imprisonment if you are found guilty of contempt. Violating court orders is one of the most common forms of contempt.

Accident vs. Intent

Accidentally violating a court order is not reason enough to be found in contempt of court. Court orders can include many restrictions, and often people aren’t given thorough explanations of what they can and cannot do by the court. It is only when a defendant knowingly violates the court order that a contempt charge can be filed.

The Remedy

Certain types of contempt, such as not following a custody order, can result in a remedial action where the other parent takes the offending parent to court to have the order enforced. This can mean the parent gets make-up parenting time or that the custody order is modified in some way. Whether you are the parent being accused of not following the order or the parent who is asking the court for enforcement, you should speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney before you take action. These types of cases can be complex, and a lot is at stake. If the case isn’t handled properly you could risk your rights being violated or even taken away. A knowledgeable custody attorney can help you prepare for court so you can defend your rights in a contempt motion.


If you are concerned about a court order, the Williams Law Group, LLC can help you. Our skilled child welfare and child custody attorneys can help ensure your rights are protected while you are subject to a court order. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at info@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.


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