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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 11-25-2010, 11:00 AM
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Default Defining Contempt of Court

A court order changing access was made June 2009. Because the lawyer mis-typed certain parts of the endorsement and it wasn't caught, the court order says the children can't have time with both parents at special times (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years).
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that when one parent suggests different access to the court order and the other parent accepts, then they are in "Contempt of Court". I have tried to have it changed via a "Consent Motion to Change", but the father claims we are not in Contempt of Court.
Contempt of Court = "Any willful disobedience to, or disregard of, a court order ... punishable by fine or imprisonment or both."
The other parent wants me to provide back-up that we are in Contempt of Court when we do that. I also provided a link to Section 31 of The Family Law Act, but it doesn't really define Contempt of Court.
I want to do the right "thing" and have it changed properly for all our sakes, but one parent is being un-cooperative and I can't take him to court over it (I have to get permission from the court).
Any suggestions for other links that legally define Contempt of Court within an Act?
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Old 11-25-2010, 11:36 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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No, contempt of court applies where the parties do not agree to the changes to the court order and one party is unilaterally trying to impose changes, or, willingly or negligently disregards the provisions of the court order. While you may have a court order, you are free to agree to any such change as you may determine.

It is highly recommended that such agreement be put in writing and it would also be recommended that any change to a court order be filed with the court.
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Old 11-25-2010, 11:46 AM
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"It is highly recommended that such agreement be put in writing and it would also be recommended that any change to a court order be filed with the court."

Therein lies the problem. He refuses to file any change with the court (via "Consent Motion to Change", which is, I believe, the correct way to do so?).
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Old 11-25-2010, 01:47 PM
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Sounds like he wants to do what he wants when he wants to.

You could put in a motion to vary or ammend the access.

He can either agree to it on consent or off to court you go.
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Old 11-25-2010, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
I want to do the right "thing" and have it changed properly for all our sakes, but one parent is being un-cooperative and I can't take him to court over it (I have to get permission from the court).
If an individual has a history of filing frivolous Motions in court, (thus wasting court time and resources), a Judge will order than no new Motions can be filed, without permission from the court.

As you need "permission", at some point, someone must have told you that you fall into that category??

If both parties agree to a variance in their court ordered arrangements, especially towards something like sharing holiday time... then I don't think that you would have to go to court over it.... nor do I think that either of you would be held in contempt.

Now... say you were entitled to Christmas Day this year... and your ex refused to facilitate access, then he would be in contempt, (or vice versa).

But if you both agree to switch things up... and he doesn't want to go through the whole court process again (assuming you've been down that road a few too many times)... then you should document the agreed upon change in an email.... or write up an agreement, which you both can sign and each of you can (and should) retain a copy of it for future reference.

If after a few holidays have passed it becomes a permanent change... approach him again about a Consent Motion...

BTW...It is wonderful that the two of you can agree on things, (like every married couple would do), without court interference.
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Old 11-25-2010, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by representingself View Post
(like every married couple would do)
Don't be too sure
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Old 11-25-2010, 05:52 PM
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I've initiated court action once and once only -- to change the amount of child support and receive payments for S.7 expenses that were in arrears. Ex and his lawyer didn't even file the documents they were told to.
According to the duty counsellors at FLIC, we are in "Contempt of Court" when we vary from the court order and should change it -- ideally with a "Consent Motion to Change".
Ex doesn't agree with the court order with respect to access at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, yet he won't agree to change it via "Consent Motion to Change". He likes to keep me in the dark whether or not he'll "permit" the children to see me during those special times, until a few days beforehand. It would be less stressful if it were changed properly, but he won't agree and I can't take him to court (which I've done only once for reasons already mentioned).
While we are in "Contempt of Court", as explained by duty counsel, it's extremely unlikely we'd be punished for it. So I guess I just have to live with not knowing whether or not the ex will permit the young-uns to spend time with me at special times until less than a week before the weekend. It could be worse I guess.
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Old 11-26-2010, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadtotheend View Post
Don't be too sure
Your are right DTTE.....LOL... My Bad!!!
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Old 11-26-2010, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
I've initiated court action once and once only -- to change the amount of child support and receive payments for S.7 expenses that were in arrears. Ex and his lawyer didn't even file the documents they were told to.
According to the duty counsellors at FLIC, we are in "Contempt of Court" when we vary from the court order and should change it -- ideally with a "Consent Motion to Change".
Ex doesn't agree with the court order with respect to access at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, yet he won't agree to change it via "Consent Motion to Change". He likes to keep me in the dark whether or not he'll "permit" the children to see me during those special times, until a few days beforehand. It would be less stressful if it were changed properly, but he won't agree and I can't take him to court (which I've done only once for reasons already mentioned).
While we are in "Contempt of Court", as explained by duty counsel, it's extremely unlikely we'd be punished for it. So I guess I just have to live with not knowing whether or not the ex will permit the young-uns to spend time with me at special times until less than a week before the weekend. It could be worse I guess.
I don't understand why you would need permission to file a claim against him then??

Ok, so technically you and your ex are in "contempt" of the Order.... but no one is going to waste their time trying to prosecute you for it... so you have nothing to worry about... from a legal standpoint.

But if you feel that this issue is going to be a continual source of frustration and conflict... and you need permission to file.....then ask permission?

I don't really understand the problem?
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:41 PM
harmlessthing harmlessthing is offline
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I was reading your story. maybe my story can help you i've been representing my self for 5 years and this is the 5th contempt of court and i'm taking it back to court in 6 weeks. I learn that I'll never give up until he does what he is told my a judge. I know that doing it by myself the judge really listen to me. so don't stop trying hang in there.
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