What is the punishment for contempt of court in Louisiana?

What is the punishment for contempt of court in Louisiana?

What is the punishment for contempt of court in Louisiana

In family law, contempt is used to remedy a parent’s violation of their child custody, child support, or spousal support agreement. 

Penalties are in place to prevent future violations, but the truth is that sometimes these penalties are overly harsh and are not made in the child’s best interests.

If you are facing contempt or want to bring a motion of contempt against your ex, it’s important to hire a lawyer to protect you and your child(ren). 

An attorney at The Johnson Firm will ensure your best interests are represented, but more importantly, the best interests of your child(ren).

Keep reading to learn about the punishments for contempt of court in Louisiana.


What’s considered contempt of court?

A person can be held in contempt of court if 

they ignore or fail to adhere to a court order. Basically, “contempt of court” means that a person acted in disrespect or direct opposition to the court; for example, by not following the child custody or alimony arrangement to which they agreed and signed.

Typical court-ordered custody agreements determine which type of custody (joint, sole, etc.) is in the child’s best interest, and they may include specific visitation arrangements with days and times that each parent may spend with the child. 

Sometimes, the agreement will outline which parent can make decisions regarding the child’s religion, education, nutrition, and more.

A parent could face contempt if they violate any of the provisions in the custody agreement or if they fail to provide a safe household for the child.

For example, if at the end of the scheduled visitation one parent fails to return the child to the other, or if one parent has a drug problem and leaves substances out where the child could reach them, the other parent could bring contempt charges against the violator.


Penalties for Contempt of Court in Louisiana

The following penalties are dependent upon the specific violation:

  • Disobeying an order for child or spousal support or an order for custody or visitation:
    • Fines up to $500
    • Imprisonment up to three months
    • Litter cleanup and/or community service
    • Probation period up to two years
  • Violating a visitation order (in addition to or in lieu of the above):
    • Attendance in a parent education course
    • Attendance in counseling or mediation
    • Paying for all of the other party’s court costs and attorney fees

Individuals with multiple violations could end up losing custody or having reduced or supervised visitation.


What to Do If Your Ex Violates the Support or Custody Order

You should call the police if your ex-spouse or ex-partner violates a court order and you believe your child may be in danger. For example, they were supposed to bring your child back hours ago but still haven’t shown up or contacted you.

Unfortunately, it’s common for a disgruntled parent to take or keep the child without the parent’s permission or in violation of the court order. These orders are in place to protect the child, so it’s important to notify the authorities if you don’t know where your child is or if you believe they may be in danger. 

After you call the police, contact a Lake Charles family law attorney to get started with a motion for contempt of court.

If the violation isn’t an emergency, but is inexcusable or happens frequently, it’s a good idea to go ahead and file a motion for contempt of court. 

Call a Lake Charles family law attorney at The Johnson Firm today.

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