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How might your divorce result in criminal charges?

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2023 | Family Law

Divorce is a legal process because marriage is a legal contract. While family law issues generally are always civil matters, when the court makes an order and you or your ex-spouse fail to follow them, it could turn criminal.

Contempt of court is a violation of an order from a judge. You could easily end up in contempt due to various aspects of your divorce.

Orders in a divorce

A typical divorce will have various orders delivered. There is the final order that severs the marriage. You really cannot violate that order, so it is not one of concern. However, other orders that require you to take certain actions could result in contempt of court. These orders include paying child support, paying spousal support and adhering to child visitation and custody plans.

After a violation

If you violate an order, your former spouse can petition the court to hold you in contempt. The judge will look at the facts and decide whether to charge you. Making this type of charge is completely up to the judge and will often depend on your behavior and willingness to correct the issue.

If the judge decides to hold you in contempt, he or she will issue a warrant for your arrest unless you are present in court when the order comes down. You will likely go to jail. It is possible to also get criminal charges on your record as a result. It could impact your family law case as well and lead to changes that are not in your favor.

Contempt of court is a serious issue. While divorces and the matters surrounding them are civil, they could become criminal matters if you or your former spouse fails to follow the judge’s orders.