Archive for the 'Divorce Process' Category

Enforcement of Court Orders (Contempt of Court)

Posted by admin on 27th April 2006

Contempt of Court – “Any willful disobedience to, or disregard of, a court order or any misconduct in the presence of a court; action that interferes with a judge’s ability to administer justice or that insults the dignity of the court; punishable by fine or imprisonment or both. There are both civil and criminal contempt’s; the distinction is often unclear.”

Which simply means that you get in to trouble that requires a court order and a judge gives you a set of rules to live by and purposely break every one; then you are in trouble. It is similar to breaking the law.

Contempt Of Court — Civil or Criminal

A judge who feels someone is improperly challenging or ignoring the court’s authority has the power to tell the disobedient person (called the contemnor) in contempt of court. There are two kinds of contempt – criminal and civil. Criminal contempt happens when the contemnor actually hinders with the ability of the court to function normally – for example, by yelling at the judge. This is also called direct contempt because it occurs directly in front of the judge. This is a very clear definition, almost impossible to be misunderstood. A criminal contemnor may be fined, jailed or both as punishment for his behavior.

Civil contempt occurs when the contemnor, on purpose disobeys a court order. This is also called indirect contempt because it occurs outside the judge’s immediate realm and evidence must be presented to the judge to prove the contempt. In other words, you disobey the judge behind his or her back. A civil contemnor, too, may be fined, jailed or both. The fine or jailing is meant to force the contemnor into obeying the court, not to punish him, and the contemnor will be released from jail just as soon as he complies with the court order.

This is quite merciful of them.

In family law, civil contempt is one way a court enforces alimony (or money), child support, custody and visitation orders which have been abused.

However, many courts have realized that, at least regarding various routine matters such as appointment of counsel, the distinction between civil and criminal contempt is often hazy and uncertain.

By the Constitution of the United States, each house of congress may determine the rules of its events; punish its members for rebellious behavior and, with the agreement of two-thirds, expel a member. The same terms is substantially contained in the constitutions of the several states. Courts of justice have an inherent power to punish all people for contempt of their rules and orders, for disobedience of their methods, and for disturbing them in their proceedings.

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Divorce Process California

Posted by admin on 27th April 2006

There are six steps to the divorce process in California.

The first step is filing a complaint or summons.  The purpose of this is to register the request for divorce with the court.  It is up to law enforcement or a private process server to deliver the papers to the defendant.  The filing date of the complaint marks the date the legal separation of the two parties started.  You will need, the date and location where the marriage took place, the legal address of both parties, the names and birth dates of all children born during the marriage.  You also will need the reason for asking for a divorce and a list of claims that support that reason.

You will then have pretrial orders filed.  They are to make clear the immediate future for both spouses including temporary child custody and spousal support.  Pretrial orders are used to resolve any arguments that may arise about living arrangements, care, and visitation of children and finances.  These do not influence of the outcome of the divorce.

The next step is the discovery process.  It’s a legal means for an attorney to uncover important information the client hasn’t been able to get.  The most common of these tools would be a deposition.  This deposition is a statement, in writing about a disputed issue in the pending divorce.  A sanctioned reporter of the court is present so questions and answers can be used as evidence at the time of the hearing or divorce action.

The negotiation step is to resolve all contested issues.  An out-of-court settlement may be reached any time.  Many divorces have issues that are settled out-of-court with the help of mediation and arbitration and supervised by lawyers and the court.

The pretrial hearing is brought before a judge or a panel of mediators.  It’s used to bring up the crucial contested points in the divorce for special attention.  The judge or the panel can give insight and encourage both parties to settle their disagreements out of court.

It’s often during that time both sides see the impact a trial and how it will affect each other and their minor children.  More than one pretrial hearing can take place if both sides reach another sticking point.

The trial is the last step in the divorce process.  The trial is held just as a criminal trial would be held with opening statements, each side stating their case and rebuttals by both parties.  Closing arguments are presented and the court hands down the final judgment or decision.

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