Contempt of Court in Family Law Cases in Texas

Sep 6, 2023News

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The Texas Academy of Family Law Specialist is a professional organization of Board Certified family law attorneys.
IAFL is a worldwide association of practising lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries.
The Texas Bar College is a professional society of legal scholars who are leaders in the Texas legal community and champions of legal education.

Family law cases in Texas often revolve around sensitive and emotionally charged issues, including child custody, visitation rights, and child support payments. When a court order related to these issues is disobeyed, it’s known as contempt of court, and Texas law takes such violations seriously.

There are two types of contempt: civil and criminal. Civil contempt is used to compel a party to comply with a court order, while criminal contempt is a penalty for disobedience or disrespect of the court (Texas Government Code § 21.002).

A common example of contempt in family law is failing to pay child support. According to Texas Family Code § 157.001, if a person obligated to pay child support intentionally fails to do so, they can be held in contempt of court. The court may enforce the child support order by imposing fines, jail time, or both.

Another frequent occurrence is the violation of visitation orders. If a custodial parent refuses to adhere to the court-ordered visitation schedule, they can be held in contempt.

When you suspect a contempt violation, the first step is to gather evidence, including relevant documents, correspondence, or witness testimonies. Consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney who can guide you through the process of filing a Motion for Enforcement, which is the legal avenue for addressing contempt.

If you are the one accused of contempt, it’s crucial to obtain legal representation immediately. Penalties can be severe, but a skilled attorney can often help you avoid them or lessen their impact.

In conclusion, dealing with contempt of court in family law cases can be complicated. At Webb Family Law Firm, P.C., we are dedicated to providing expert legal counsel and robust representation, whether you’re seeking to enforce a court order or defending against contempt charges. Contact us today to discuss your case.


  1. Texas Government Code § 21.002
  2. Texas Family Code § 157.001

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