How can you be in contempt of court in a divorce in Utah? First, usually you will need a court order. If the court has ordered something and the other party breaches or does not perform then they could possibly be held in contempt. First, you would need to do an application for an order to show cause. This is the first way that you show the courts that your ex-spouse is not obeying a court order. This hearing will be held in front of a commissioner and the commissioner will here each attorney or Party give their reasoning for why the other party is disobeying the court order. The party asserting the breach or disobedience of a court order will have to show that in fact there is a court order and that the other Party is disobeying the court’s order.
The commissioner can then certify the case for a contempt hearing in which evidence will have to be put forth in front of a district court judge. In order to be held in contempt the court must find;
- That there was a valid order that the Party was aware of.
- The Party had the ability to comply with the order.
- The Party willfully failed or refused to comply with the Court order.
Von Hake v. Thomas, 759 P.2d 1162, 1172 (Utah 1988)
If these elements are show by evidence then the Court can hold the Party in contempt and you could be awarded your attorney fees. If this situation applies to you, call our office today for a free consultation to speak with one of our Utah Divorce Lawyers. We will sit down with you and assess your situation and give you an honest opinion on your case.