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Contempt Motion Deadline?

San Jose, CA |

In the past, my ex was late on child support for 5 months, late on reimbursing me. He is current now with the exception of unpaid airfare. However; he fails to call me to let me know that our child arrives a few times (flys as unaccompanied minor) per our court order. He has never consulted me prior to taking our child to doctor's or ER. The only way, I knew is that he used my insurance and I saw it on a bill. Is there a timeframe deadline for these types of issues?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. There is no Statute of Limitations on contempt of court in this context, but it's not the best route to go. You'd have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, there are several court dates involved, and the courts generally don't like contempt motions other than for clear cut cases of contempt.

    Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.


  2. If you feel a contempt is the best way to proceed, you need to do this immediately to enforce the court order and protect your child's welfare. I am not saying it would be an easy win, the burden of proof is too high that even seasoned lawyers are unable to prevail on contempt charges. However, if you think his actions are endangering the welfare of the child, you can file an RFO with the court and devise a better order to protect the child and insure your knowledge if not participation in the child's treatment.

    This response will not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Sarieh Law Offices, and is not intended to serve as a legal advice in your specific circumstances. This response is a legal opinion based solely on facts represented by you. You still need to consult an attorney directly to fully protect your legal rights.


  3. Generaly a contempt order only goes back one year on the facts because it is a quasi criminal matter.

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none.


  4. If he is not letting you know when your child arrives at the airport this is a serious issue and I would file a motion with the court to terminate these long distance exchanges. It seems to leave your child at risk of harm if you don’t know when to pick the child up from the airport.

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  5. I oppose the contempt route. A child who flies unaccompanied can, and should, use a cell phone to call you and the child knows better than Dad when he arrives. ER is an emergency situation that may not allow for pre-visit consultation. You might be pegging an eejit as a criminal and you child can report to you on medical visits IF you two communicate.

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