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Contempt & Enforcement

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When the court orders a party to perform a certain action such as pay child support, follow a parenting plan, or even submit documents to divide assets or property, the failure to comply with the order is called contempt.

  • Not all violations of court orders are filed and whether it makes sense to file a contempt or a motion to enforce or a motion to modify an existing order is just the first step in our analysis.
  • Even if a contempt action is necessary or appropriate, different types of contempt can be filed in Colorado.

Punitive vs. Remedial Contempt

When most people think of contempt they think that the non-complying party will end up going to jail.

  • While jail is a real possibility for continued failure to comply with court orders when the non-complying party has the ability to comply, this type of contempt is referred to as “punitive” contempt, designed to punish a party for not complying with a court’s prior order.
  • “Remedial” contempt is also available to enforce compliance with the court’s prior order. The real teeth on the remedial contempt shark is exposure to paying the other party’s attorney’s fees. However, that doesn’t mean the court will always award attorney’s fees or even that the other party will pay even if ordered to do so.
  • Let’s face it, if a party is failing to satisfy their financial obligations, it may be futile to add an award of attorney’s fees on top of that.
  • The old adage that it’s impossible to draw blood from a turnip comes to mind. Still, other remedies are available to ensure or compel compliance and the attorneys at The Drexler Law Group can determine which remedy best suits your desired goals.

The attorneys at The Drexler Law Group will advise you on which enforcement remedy makes the most sense in your case.

“Quasi-Criminal” Cases

We have certainly enjoyed success modifying orders and pursuing enforcement motions; however, sometimes there is no substitute for a civil contempt action.

  • Contempt remedies are called “quasi-criminal” cases due to the potential for the punitive sanction of jail time.
  • However, because the threat of jail exists, the non-complying party may be entitled to free legal representation to defend against a contempt.

Whether you are contemplating filing for contempt or enforcement or whether you find yourself defending against such an effort, the attorneys at The Drexler Law Group can provide aggressive representation to protect your rights and to ensure that you don’t leave the contempt proceedings with more problems than you started. In many cases, zealous negotiation can avoid a full contempt proceeding and we will explore all potential remedies that may favor our client.

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We appreciate that you are looking for dedicated and zealous representation and someone to fight for your rights. When you call The Drexler Law Group, that's exactly what you'll get. The attorneys and staff at The Drexler Law Group are friendly, experienced and professional. We are client-centered, results-focused and loyal advocates for our clients.

Don't hesitate to contact us immediately to schedule a consultation. You can call us at (719) 471-8000, or email us at info@drexlerlawgroup.com.