Contempt / Willfulness / Enforcement

On occasion, after a Court order is entered, a person may fail to comply with or obey the order or judgment of the Court. This is called contempt. If the contempt is willful, the offending party may be punished in any number of ways. At the Perlmutter Law Firm, we can assist you with issues regarding contempt of court.

We can assist a client who needs a court order enforced. After judgments are entered, New York law gives individuals the ability to use Contempt proceedings to ensure compliance with court orders. In situations where a party fails to pay child support, alimony or any other financial orders, it is appropriate to file a motion for contempt. Contempt actions are also used to enforce visitation and custody rights.

Contempt actions can involve situations such as denial of visitation; failure to pay child support and/or alimony; or exposing a child to a paramour or other improper environment. This list is far from exhaustive as Family Court Orders can, and typically do, address many family-specific issues.

A finding of willful contempt means that the judge believes that a person is thumbing their nose at the Court or has no reasonable justification for nonpayment. It could result from the judge not believing that the stated excuse for nonpayment is a justifiable excuse. A finding of willful contempt could also mean the following: 1) the person has the ability to pay and has not made payment 2) the person has not made proper efforts to find suitable employment 3) the person is able to work yet either isn’t working, is underemployed or not making genuine efforts to find employment.

The judge may believe that the contempt is willful because the person is lying, exaggerating his excuse or is not acting in good faith.  An attorney can help in these situations.