By Earl N Jackson
Board Certified by the
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Contempt of Court:
Enforcement and Contempt of Court Orders.
Our courts take their orders very seriously and do not hesitate to impose fines, award attorney’s fees, and place someone in jail. If child support has not been paid, if medical support has not been provided or uninsured medical expenses reimbursed or if you have been denied possession or visitation with your child, a contempt action may be necessary. In order to hold someone in contempt:
- there must be a written order;
- the order must be clear and unambiguous;
- the motion for enforcement must specifically set out what the contemnor was supposed to do, how to do it, and where to do it;
- the motion for enforcement must quote the language sought to be enforced and attach the order to the motion (it is only necessary to either quote the language or attach the order but the best practice is doing both);
- the motion for enforcement must be personally served upon the person who is accused of breaching the court’s order; and
- the motion for enforcement must be set for hearing and include a citation if any other relief is sought.
The following pages discuss contempt in greater detail:
- the failure to pay child support;
- the failure to provide health insurance;
- the failure to reimburse for uninsured medical expenses; and
- the failure to surrender a child and denial of possession and access.
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