When couples obtain divorces in Pennsylvania, typically these individuals
marital settlement agreements, which address property and
debt division, and
child custody. As written documents in a
divorce, these agreements are legally enforceable in court.
If one of the divorcées fails to hold up their end of the marital
settlement agreement, they can take their ex-husband or wife to court.
About Contempt of Court
Suppose a judge decides that a father has to pay all of his children’s
uninsured medical expenses because that is what it says in the divorce
decree. A year goes by, and the father still hasn’t coughed up the
money. In this case, the father would be “in contempt of court.”
In Pennsylvania, the applicable law would be Rule 140 B,
Contempt Not in the Presence of The Court. Under Rule 140 B, an individual is in contempt when:
- The person failed to obey a subpoena (failed to appear in court) issued
by the court;
- The person failed to comply with a court order; or
- The person failed to comply with a court order directing him or her to
pay fines and costs associated with an installment order.
If a court finds someone in “contempt” for any of the above,
he or she may be fined or imprisoned, or both. A bench warrant will likely
be issued if the defendant failed to show after being subpoenaed by the court.
Headed toward divorce? It’s important to take your divorce agreements
seriously. You cannot agree to do something and then fail to carry it
out. Because, if you fail to adhere to your obligations, the court can
find you “in contempt,” and you could end up behind bars.
While going through a divorce, it’s important to have an experienced
no-fault Pennsylvania divorce attorney fully advise you of your rights
and responsibilities under the law, including your duty to uphold your
obligations under a marital settlement agreement.
If you need a divorce lawyer in Pennsylvania, contact Cairns Law Offices
to learn about our cheap,
no-fault divorce services!