How to File Contempt Charges in Florida

If you are a party to a divorce in Florida where children are involved, you likely have a detailed civil order setting forth issues such as custody of marital children, visitation, child support and spousal support. If a party to a civil custody or support order in Florida refuses to comply with the terms of the order, you may be forced to initiate a contempt proceeding to force compliance. Initiating a contempt hearing requires filing a form with a Florida district court.

Download a Motion for Civil Contempt/Enforcement from the Florida Courts website (see Resources). The Florida Courts website provides a PDF version of a contempt motion form, which you can print and fill out.

Read More: What Does Contempt of Court Mean?

Provide information about your initial court order. Provide the name of the petitioner and respondent to your initial court order. Indicate the title of the initial order, the Florida court that issued it, and the date it was issued. Attach a copy of the order if you are filing a contempt motion in a court that isn’t the court which issued the initial order. Generally, you must file your contempt motion with the clerk of the court where your case was initially filed. However, if both you and your ex-spouse have moved out of the original county, you may file in your new home county or the new home county of your ex-spouse.

Provide information about the violation of the initial court order. Specify what the court order required the offending party to do. Provide an explanation of how the offending party has willfully refused to comply with the court order.

Check your requested relief. There are a variety of options for relief on a contempt motion, including enforcement of the previous order, payment of costs and fees, fines, garnishment and make-up time-sharing.

Sign and date the contempt motion. You must sign in the presence of a notary or deputy clerk, who must also sign the form.

File your contempt motion with the Florida clerk of court. If you have an address for the persons in violation of the original order, you may serve a copy via registered mail. Once the violating party has been served, the Florida clerk of court will set a hearing date.

Attend your hearing. At your hearing, you will have the opportunity to explain how the other party violated the original order. After hearing evidence from both parties, the judge will decide whether the other party is in violation and what relief will be granted.

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