Georgia Contempt

Georgia Contempt


What is considered contempt in the State of Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, Contempt means the willful violation of a Court Order.

What are Georgia Contempt cases usually about in family law?
They are normally about failure to comply with a Court Order requiring child support payments or alimony payments .They can also be about the failure to followCourt Orders relating to child custody or visitation.

What are the defenses to Contempt in Georgia?
Either that you did not violate the Court Order, or that the violation was not willful.

What happens if a Georgia Court finds that someone is in Contempt?
The offender can be ordered to cooperate or face incarceration. A Court can even order incarceration until cooperation begins. This may mean payment of all or part of the child support or alimony owed, or cooperation with the terms of child custody or visitation. A Georgia Court can also require the offender to pay attorney's fees.

Can a Georgia Court punish someone for Contempt?
Absolutely. Georgia Courst can take steps to ensure cooperation as well as hold someone in criminal Contempt and punish them by making them pay a fine and/or serving time in jail for each violation, as punishment (even if they decide to cooperate or pay all past due support).

Is Contempt the only way to enforce a Court Order?
For the collection of arrearages, there are other methods for collection such as garnishment of bank accounts, wages and other assets. Property of the payor can also be attached.

How long does a Contempt case take?
Typically Contempt cases are quicker than divorce or other family law cases since they focus on one or two straightforward issues.

What if I am falsely accused of Contempt?
If the Court believes you have been falsely accused, the Court may order the opposing party to pay your lawyer's fees.

How do I prevent being falsely accused?
Keep good records and receipts. Bring witnesses to visitation exchanges etc..

Is it worth filing for Contempt?
It depends on how important it is to you that the other side abide by the Court Order. You should not rely on the other side being ordered to pay your fees.

Do I need a lawyer if I am accused of Contempt?
It is almost always better to have a lawyer, especially when you stand a chance of going to jail or being ordered to pay money. You should at least consult with The Law Firm of Cynthia L. Patton to determine your risks.

Will the same judge who heard my original case also hear the Contempt case?
Usually. Some exceptions exist though. For instance, when both parties move and a Court in another state is asked to enforce the Order or when a modification is being held in a new county in Georgia and the person filing t asks to have a Contempt handled in that new county in Georgia in conjunction with the modification.

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