The Looming Threat of Contempt: How Far Can the Court Go in Enforcing Your San Diego Family Law Order?
If a California family court order is disobeyed, there are many different ways to compel compliance, but can a person be jailed if, for example, child support isn’t paid? Through the court’s “contempt power,” many family court orders that have been violated can potentially be punished with jail time. On the other hand, the U.S. and California constitutions protect people from being put in jail just for having unpaid debts. In the case of spousal support (alimony) or child support, even though money is owed, the payments are not seen as “debts” because they arise from legal obligations created when you have children or get married, which is why jail can be imposed for willfully violating the court order. Continue Reading