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Which is faster a modification or a contempt

Brookline, MA |
Filed under: Divorce

My husband is not complying and I may need to go to court

Attorney Answers 4


A contempt, however you need to know the right tool because speed doesn't always equal results, go over the specifics with a local attny and he or she will help you, take care and the filing fee is less on contempts.

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 Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.

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Contempt is the procedure for violation of existing orders. Modification is used to change orders going forward. These are not interchangeable procedures. You sound like you need to file a contempt to remedy the current violation. If you need to change things, file a modification as well.

To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.

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It sounds as though your husband is in Contempt of existing orders; therefore, a complaint for Contempt would be the appropriate course of action. When the case gets heard depends often on the subject of the Contempt (I.e complaints foe contempt of child support orders often get heard much quicker). Attorney Lewis is an excellent attorney and could assist you quite adeptly with this matter. Best of luck to you.

Legal disclaimer: DISCLAIMER This answer is provided for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site cannot be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices law in the State where this offense is charged and/or wherein the legal issue arises; and, who has experience in the area of law you are asking questions about and with whom you would have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question, or in the State in which your particular issue has arisen.

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These are two different procedures which will afford you two different outcomes.

You may need both!

Christopher Vaughn-Martel is a Massachusetts lawyer with the firm of Vaughn-Martel Law in Boston, Massachusetts. All answers are based on generalized Massachusetts law and the limited facts presented by the questioner. All answers are provided to the general public for educational purposes only and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question. If you would like an attorney with Vaughn-Martel Law to review your specific situation and provide you with legal options or information specific to you, you may schedule a telephone or office by calling 617-357-4898 or visiting us at Our office charges $100.00 for a consultation, and applies your consultation fee to your first bill if the Firm is hired to perform further work.

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