New York Contempt & Family Law Attorneys

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In family law matters, contempt generally refers to violations of court orders, such as child support, spousal support, custody or visitation orders. If you are in a situation in which you cannot comply with a court order, such as if you are unable to afford child or spousal support payments, you should file a motion for a modification, or a change, in the court order. A New York divorce lawyer from Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. can help you file this motion.


The following cases provide examples of how New York courts have ruled on various contempt matters in family law.


  • Kaplan v. Kaplan, Jan. 23, 2013- Father’s failure to pay child support constituted a willful violation of child support order. The burden was on the father to supply evidence that proves his inability to comply with the court order, but he failed to provide sufficient credible evidence of his inability to pay the mandated child support.
  • Greene v. Hanson, Nov. 16, 2012- Father’s failure to pay child support constituted a willful violation of child support order. The father failed to show that he made reasonable efforts to obtain employment that would enable him to meet his child support obligations. He was a carpenter for 16 years, and did not testify that he made an effort to obtain carpentry work after he stopped operating his construction company. He also failed to show any significant change in circumstances that would justify a downward modification of his child support order.


  • Terry v. Oliver, Jun. 23, 2009- Mother had custody and father had visitation, with pickup taking place at a police precinct. After that, the parties agreed to change the pick-up and drop-off location to the mother’s or grandmother’s home. Years later, the father insisted that the mother bring the child to the police precinct, and sought to have her held in contempt for violating the visitation order. However, she was not held in contempt because the father failed to provide a valid reason for changing their longstanding agreement that the child could be picked up at the mother’s or grandmother’s house. The mother also did not impede or impair his right to visit the child.
  • James W.D. v. Sandra C., Oct. 11, 2007- Mother was found in contempt for violating a visitation order by concealing her child’s whereabouts for 10 years. Family Court ordered her to be incarcerated for 6 months with credit for time served.


  • Avolio v. Fontecchio, May 19, 2011- Mother found in contempt for willfully violating a mandate that said she could not contact or communicate with the father’s family by communicating with his family multiple times.
  • In re Alex A.C., Apr. 29, 2011- Neglect petition filed against mother in August 2009, alleging that her child was in danger due to mother’s use of drugs, involvement in crime, and continuing an abusive relationship with child’s father. Court issued temporary orders removing the child from mother’s custody, ordering the mother to stay away from the child and mandating her to prevent contact between the child and father. After this order was put in place, a police officer testified that he stopped a vehicle with the mother, father, and child in the car, in violation of the order of protection. Because she violated this order, the mother was held in contempt and committed to six-months in jail.

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