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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 04-14-2014, 03:59 PM
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Default Contempt

Is this just a hoax in family law? Is anyone actually found to be in contempt in canada and what is the application process?
Or is this just a money grab for lawyers?

Would someone with expertise mind chiming in to help me with what exactly the process is and how difficult it is to find someone in contempt and how it would actually assist a family court case? And how expensive it is to do so?

Thanks
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:28 PM
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I looked at it a few times but thought better of it. Probably because of the cost involved as advised by lawyers. The Courts actually think they have a fairly decent dispute resolution mechanism with motions for bad faith, fraud and motions to vary. The threshold to prove Contempt is fairly high which means lots of preparation before Trial and there's different levels of Contempt...example one is....people defend themselves by saying they just didn't know they were in Contempt of anything and get off!
There are examples in Canll of Contempt....usually it's from years and years and order after order that was ignored or broken before the judge finally put a stop to it...these cases are very rare....and usually the only Contempt outcome is no support for adult kids. I also think Contempt Motions go straight to Trial but somebody could correct me. Anyways just my thoughts
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Old 04-14-2014, 06:16 PM
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My ex has been in contempt of divorce Order since 2010.

I guess the way to look at it is the enforceability of orders. My lawyer can get me all the orders I need but they have to be enforced. For self-employed it is extremely difficult.

Your ex is a wage earner/employee and therefore the end might justify the means. You would have to discuss that, along with the legal costs, of pursuing it.

.... beating a dead horse and all

If you have minor children, ex who is employee make collection/enforcement of orders much easier IMO.

As contempt goes directly to someone's liberty (jail) the matter is dealt with on an entirely different level. If you decide to pursue it I would suggest negotiating a different retainer with your lawyer.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:16 PM
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My ex was found in contempt. Contempt was actually minor compared to trial or even motions. It is really important that the contempt is not a financial matter and easily proven without any doubt.

In my case the ex would not provide signatures on the children's passports and would not provide consent for vacation. Both of these were in the final order very clearly.

Passport applications were brought to the court along with written refusals to sign. Ex continued to refuse to sign them when the judge ordered him to do so in the court.

Proof of the vacation booked, the money lost and written documentation of requests and refusals were presented.

The outcome was he was found in contempt. The judge ordered; his vacation consent was dispensed with. The judge also made an endorsement that his signature was not required on the passport. I was able to present this to passport canada and they upheld it and issued the passports.

He was also burdened with costs payable forthwith.

I self rep'd and from start to finish it took no more than 30 minutes in front of the judge. The paperwork for the process also didn't take much more then a couple of hours.

If your issue is financial or access contempt is not a good place to go as MrToronto says above. Custody/Access and financials are better dealt with in motions or trials.
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