“Contempt of Court” is a phrase most of us have heard at some point in our lives. What is contempt? More importantly, how do you avoid being in contempt? This blog provides a brief overview of the purposes of contempt and the different types of contempt and provides some advice on how to avoid finding yourself in contempt. The court’s power to punish for contempt is a power inherent in all courts. Indiana courts have found there are two primary purposes behind the contempt power: (1) vindication of the court’s dignity; and (2) enforcement of litigant’s rights pursuant to court orders.1 ...
October 17, 2019CD
Having a contempt petition (sometimes called a rule to show cause) filed against one in a civil or criminal case is generally unsettling. What is the purpose? Generally, civil and criminal contempt is the legal process by which trial courts enforce their orders and/or maintain decorum in the courtroom. A key and relatively recent Indiana case, Stanke,1 has refined civil contempt and it, along with the array of contempt types and proceedings, is addressed in this blog post. The first (and least common) type of contempt is direct contempt.2 This has multiple components. Most broadly, direct contempt is the stuff of ...
April 11, 2017CD
At this point in the blog series, it addresses one of the most controversial and on-going types of domestic litigation: “child support.” The driving policy behind child support is to maintain the lifestyle the children were accustomed to prior to the divorce. However, it costs more money to operate two households than one. This creates the common position lawyers hear from their clients, which is a variant of “I cannot get by on that low amount of support” or “I cannot afford to pay that much and survive.” To determine the proper amount of child support each person should pay (which ...
October 29, 2015Adam Hayes
Conflict and dispute is a part of daily life. Most of the time, conflicts are resolved through means outside of court. In a very small percent of daily or even life matters, there is no ability to resolve the matter outside of a lawsuit. In this case the wonder of the US legal system comes into play. Litigants go to court and ask a judge to decide a matter. Cast in terms of emotion and winning or losing everything from children to property and freedom, it is easy to lose track of the fact the trial court judge is neutral in ...
May 27, 2015Adam Hayes
In all types of court cases, a litigant (party to the lawsuit or criminal case) may be found in contempt of court. They are two types of contempt of court under Indiana law. The first is direct contempt of court, where a party’s action in the courtroom disrupts the court. This is known as direct contempt of court and may subject the litigant to criminal action or incarceration. This not the typical type of contempt that arises in a case. Indirect contempt is what most Readers may have questions about. This type of contempt involves failure to follow a court’s orders. ...
February 5, 2015CD
Often, parties engaging in litigation have spent countless hours and invested huge portions of their lives into their case. And, there is often a great expense to litigating, in both preparation, job impact (taking time off for Court and to prepare for your case), and attorney fees. So, can some of that money spent be recouped? In Indiana, the American Rule as relating to attorney fees is generally followed. That is, that each party pays his/her own attorney fees. However, there are exceptions to the American Rule. This blog will explore some general exceptions in family law that may allow a ...
September 23, 2014CD
In most domestic cases involving children, child custody and child support are two (2) of the key issues in the litigation process. Determining where the child will physically reside (the custodial parent), how the parents will make legal decisions regarding the child (about major life issues, such as religious upbringing), and the amount of support owed by which parent are all common parts of divorce and paternity matters. What happens when child support is not paid? Previous blog posts have examined contempt petitions and even suspension of a parent’s driver’s license for failure to pay child support. In extreme cases, a ...
January 29, 2013CD
Consequences for “Willful Failure” to Comply In domestic law, cases often involve the issuance of several orders by the Court for a number of different issues and reasons. For example, the court may issue orders regarding child support, finances, debt, and/or health insurance coverage during the pendency of the divorce. These orders may come down separately as the issues arise and/or be a part of the final dissolution order. Every order issued by the Court is an order the parties must follow and fulfill, or the party who does not may face a motion for contempt (or, rule to show cause as ...
July 5, 2012CD
One key aspect of human nature is to see our problem(s) as more important than everyone else’s problems. In addition, the need for a timely resolution of any given stressor is important to living a fulfilled life. As domestic advocates at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., we observe these two factors collide and often create great duress for clients when child/ parenting time disputes arise. The protective nature of a parent (with perhaps some unresolved emotion from the divorce itself) necessitates a dispute be settled NOW! Unfortunately, many of these matters occur at the margins of what the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines ...
February 28, 2012CD
Perhaps. Yes. No. Maybe. The answer is driven by the facts. Even with the most caring parents committed to making post-divorce parenting work, disputes and disagreements are common with the other parent’s right to reasonable parenting time. At Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. we frequently receive questions about denial of the first right of refusal to be the caregiver when the possessory parent is unavailable , tardy pickups and dropoffs , and denial or interference with phone contact. One of the central questions raised by our clients and other family law litigants is does this mean custody can or should be changed? The general ...
January 31, 2012CD