When can a person be held in contempt in a divorce action. Whenever an individual willfully disobeys a court order there is a possibility they will be held in contempt. The court defines contempt in a divorce action in Utah as follows:
“Contempt of court includes “disobedience of any lawful judgment, order or process of the court.” See Utah Code Ann. § 78B‐6‐301(5) (2008). “‘As a general rule, in order to prove contempt for failure to comply with a court order it must be shown that the person cited for contempt knew what was required, had the ability to comply, and intentionally failed or refused to do so.’” Taylor v. Taylor, 2011 UT App 331, ¶ 6, 263 P.3d 1200 (mem.) (quoting Von Hake v. Thomas, 759 P.2d 1162, 1172 (Utah 1988)). These three elements must be shown “by clear and convincing evidence in a civil contempt proceeding.” Von Hake, 759 P.2d at 1172.”
Therefore, whether you have temporary orders or final orders in a divorce action you need to comply with the order. Not complying with an order in your divorce action could lead to being held in contempt. What are the sanctions for being held in contempt in a divorce action in Utah? The penalties can be attorney fees and possible jail time. Therefore, if you are not following a court order in your divorce action it could lead to you paying the attorney fees for the other person, and possible jail time.
At Arnold & Wadsworth we offer a free consultation in order to assess your case and the possibility of an Order to Show Cause and the effect on your divorce. Call today for a free consultation. We have divorce lawyers in Salt Lake City and Ogden, Utah.