Taking Action: Complaint for Contempt
You finally reach an agreement on the terms of your divorce only to experience a setback later when your former spouse doesn't fulfill his or her legal responsibilities outside of the Courtroom. When this happens, in response, the recipient spouse—also known as the plaintiff— has the opportunity to file a Complaint for Contempt.
When Do you File a Complaint for Contempt?
A Complaint for Contempt is a legal document that outlines the offending spouse's failure to comply with, and obey, any one or more of the following court-ordered actions:
- Failure to pay alimony
- Failure to pay child support
- Not complying with agreed-upon visitation
- Refusal to pay a mortgage
- Any other denials of court mandates
The affected spouse can take the offending spouse to Court for non-payment of these financial orders in an effort to get the program(s) back on track.
How Does a Complaint for Contempt Work?
A Complaint for Contempt can be filed in two scenarios, including during the pendency of action if a Party violates a court order or; subsequent to the issuance of a judgment case.
The recipient spouse, whether child support, spousal support, or another financial order is in question, must provide the opposing spouse with a notice of his or her financial obligations. The recipient spouse—or plaintiff—needs to showcase clear cut evidence and proof that the opposing party disobeyed the order(s) by failing to make the legally required payments in order for the Courts to issue a Contempt of Summons, which initiates the official proceedings.
Probate and Family Law in Massachusetts adhere to and follow these statutes in order to inform appropriate jurisdiction:
What Do I Do if My Spouse is in Contempt?
If your spouse is in contempt, the best way to seek recourse is with the help of an experienced Family Law attorney. Our team, for example, can assist you with the following steps in adherence with the State of Massachusetts:
- File a Contempt of Complaint
- Request a Contempt Summons from your local Probate and Family Court
- Get the papers served by the Sheriff or constable
- Make a “Return Service” or copy of the Contempt Summons and deliver to the Clerk of Courts
- Fill out a detailed Financial Statement
Having an attorney by your side, like our team of Family Law attorneys, will ensure every step is properly taken and you'll have the peace-of-mind knowing you are fairly represented and your voice is heard as we work to get to a meaningful resolution.
Not sure how to get started? We can help. Know that our philosophy is rooted in helping rather than selling, something you'll no doubt find helpful during our no-strings-attached, free consultation. Call us toll-free 781-279-1822 so we can answer your questions and better understand you and your unique situation.
The Law Offices of Matthew T. Desrochers provides services to the following counties—Essex, Suffolk and Middlesex.