Is it contempt of court if judge court ordered supervised visits to be arranged on specific date and parent failed to comply?
4 attorney answers
Agree with Mr. Leroi. I'm only answering separately to caution against seeking contempt for her failure to schedule her own visitation. It can appear vindictive, which judges generally do not like. Asking for a modification is a much more reasonable approach.
Licensed in Colorado only. This response does not create an attorney client relationship, and this is not legal advice.
Violating a court order can subject a party to contempt sanctions. However, the purpose for seeking such sanctions should be explored. In many cases, the desired goal is not achieved via contempt. If your desired goal is to protect your child from a parent who is not complying with those orders, I am not convinced that contempt sanctions is the proper remedy to pursue.
The remedial contempt route is sought when trying to compel a party’s compliance, such as compelling a payor to pay court ordered child support. Are you wanting to compel the child’s mother to set up the supervised visitation and begin that visitation? If so, this would be the avenue. However, it is not a quick remedy by any means. You must file the paperwork and await the issued Order and Citation. Then you must serve the paperwork on the party at least 21 days before an advisement. At that advisement, the evidentiary hearing is set into the future.
A punitive contempt is pursued as punishment. It is utilized when the violation is willful and in derogation of the authority and dignity of the Court. Although violations of court orders are disfavored, filing for punitive contempt can make the party seeking it look bad as well. The court looks to why a parent would be seeking to punish the other parent. This is a rare sanction to seek against a parent who is not exercising court ordered parenting time. It is more commonly used when support is consistently not being paid or if a parent is interfering with the other parent’s parenting time.
If you are considering contempt sanctions because you want the court to be aware that the mother is not complying, I would not go the contempt sanctions route. If you have a future evidentiary hearing set, her non-compliance is your best evidence and the longer she doesn’t comply the worse for her case. At the evidentiary hearing, you can alert the court of her non-compliance, which will not please the court and will likely result in no new orders in mother’s favor. Until then, your child is not at risk, as it seems from the orders that mother only sees the child under those supervised terms or not at all. If the orders you reference are your final orders, and the mother would have to seek a modification in the future, again the status quo for your child’s benefit remains. The longer the mother fails to comply with the current orders, the worse chance she has at a modification in the future.
If you are thinking of pursuing contempt because you want to improve the mother’s relationship with the child, begin the reintegration, and move toward a healthy parent-child relationship, that is incredibly admirable. It saddens me to say, though, that if she is not voluntarily doing what is required of herself to have that relationship, contempt will not help. I wish you the best of luck.
Probably so, but it appears the Court has already stated the consequence, which is that she cannot apply for unsupervised time. What is the reason for trying to force her to engage in her ordered parenting time?
The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice
Yes, it would technically be a violation of the judge's order and contempt of court. You can instead file a motion to modify the court's orders based on the failure for the mother to comply with the court-ordered supervision plan.
The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice.