Modification & Contempt Proceedings
After the parties have reached an agreement, or the Court has entered an order, a party has the right to file for a modification in the future based on a material change in circumstances. Modifications can be made to alimony, child support, child custody and visitation, and protective and peace orders.
The granting of such modifications is determined after the Court considers whether or not a material change in circumstances has occurred, the needs of the parties, and the needs of any minor child or children. In child related cases, the Court also bases the decision on the best interest of the minor child or children.
Contempt can be classified as either civil or criminal.
To be held in civil contempt, an individual must have violated the rights of an individual and/or disobeyed the Court’s orders and decrees that benefit an individual. Civil contempt proceedings are intended to coerce future compliance. Civil contempt is not punitive in nature, but rather gives a party an opportunity to purge the contempt. If a party is found to be in civil contempt of a court order, his or her compliance with the Court’s order lifts the sanction.
In a criminal contempt proceeding, the State is the complainant. Criminal contempt is used when an individual has disrespected the Court or has impeded the Court’s ability to conduct work. Criminal contempt is meant as a form of punishment and may result in incarceration.