Contempt is a mechanism to enforce Court Orders and is set forth in the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 107. Any order entered by the Court is subject to enforcement through contempt proceedings. Common contempt matters include failure to pay child support, maintenance, payment of marital debts or obligations, failure to follow parenting time orders or to provide disclosure of information to the other spouse.
Contempt is initiated by filing a Motion for Issuance of a Contempt Citation which alleges a violation of a Court Order. Two remedies are available with regard to contempt: remedial and punitive.
Remedial contempt is entered where the Court finds a present ability of a party to comply with the Court Order. If it is found that there is a violation of the Court Order and a present ability to comply, sanctions may be entered to force compliance including jail until compliance with the Court Order is accomplished. The Court can also award attorney’s fees in remedial contempt. Conversely, attorney’s fees can only be awarded in punitive contempt if provided for in a Separation Agreement.
Punitive contempt imposes sanction for failure to comply with a Court Order. The Court must find a prior knowledge of the Court Order, the ability to comply and willful non-compliance. Sanctions may include imposition of a jail sentence of up to six months (longer if a jury trial is requested).
Should a jail sentence be imposed, the amount of time is discretionary with the Court. There can be many mitigating and aggravating factors associated with contempt which will be important to the Court in deciding appropriate sanctions to imposed if contempt has been proven. It is therefore important to work with a lawyer who is familiar with the intricacies of contempt matters.
Contact Gary Gottesfeld today to discuss contempt proceedings. A free consultation is offered to all new clients. Mr. Gottesfeld can be reached at 303-892-7000 or via e-mail to schedule an appointment.