Creve Coeur & O'Fallon, MO Contempt & Family Access Attorneys
After a court enters a custody judgment, problems may arise in execution. For example, if the parties are awarded joint legal custody, one parent may make unilateral decisions without even consulting the other parent. Or one parent may refuse to follow the Parenting Plan and deny periods of temporary custody to the other parent.
Contempt & the Family Access Motion
Divorce & Visitation Rights
When situations like these occur, you have two options to assure compliance with the Parenting Plan. First, you may choose to file a Family Access Motion with the court. A Family Access Motion allows a parent denied rightful periods of physical custody to bring the matter expeditiously before the court in a more informal manner. If the court finds that periods of custody have in fact been denied, the court will order compensatory time and may also award attorney fees.
If the problems seem more complicated or extensive than just missed periods of physical custody, the other option is to file a Motion for Contempt. Unlike the Family Access Motion, the Motion for Contempt is a more formal legal proceeding requiring the movant to set out all the grounds for contempt – the facts stating what the other parent has done that is in plain conflict with the Judgment of the court. The court will issue a Show Cause Order, requiring the other party to respond and appear in court to answer the charges of contempt. In a contempt proceeding, the court has more options to cure the contempt than in a Family Access Motion.
In order for the court to hold a parent in contempt, the court must find that the parent acted willfully and knowingly – the party knew about the provisions of the Judgment at issue and willingly chose to ignore them without a justifiable excuse.
At The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C, we represent individuals who wish to pursue a contempt motion as well as those who need to defend against a show cause order. No case is ever a “sure thing” – a party seeking to hold the other party in contempt has to meet the burden of proof, which in some cases can be challenging, and a party defending a contempt motion is not automatically held in contempt, as the circumstances may allow for one or more viable defenses.
Getting Help in Contempt & Family Access
Only a skilled and experienced divorce and family law attorney can properly advise you as to your rights with regard to contempt motions and family access motions and protect those rights in a legal proceeding.
At The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C, we have over fifty years of combined experience handling family law matters. We help individuals understand their rights with regard to all issues, including contempt motions and family access motions. We have handled hundreds of trials before family court judges; if you choose The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C., you will have the benefit of a divorce attorney unafraid to go to court, advocate on your behalf and fully present your case.
Time to Act
Time is of the essence. As soon as you select The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. to represent you, we will immediately put our considerable experience and resources to work on your case. The sooner we can review the necessary information, the sooner we can formulate a strategy for your unique circumstances, helping to ensure the best possible outcome.