Georgia Divorce Contempt Actions
Once you and your spouse have gone through the divorce proceedings, a judge will issue a divorce decree finalizing the dissolution of the marriage. Typically, there will be terms attached to the divorce decree.
If your former spouse violates the terms of the decree, you may file a contempt action to enforce your rights.
What Is a Contempt Action?
A contempt action is a means of enforcing the terms of your divorce decree. It is similar in nature to other legal actions, meaning that you must file it with the Clerk of Court who will process the action and serve it upon your ex-spouse.
Upon receipt of the action, your ex-spouse will have 30 days to respond. Once the response is filed, a hearing will be set to afford both parties the opportunity to testify and present evidence.
At the end of the hearing, the judge will decide whether a violation of the divorce decree has occurred and, if so, any appropriate sanctions against the violating party.
Modifying a Divorce Decree
There may come a time when you or your ex-spouse need to change an aspect of the divorce decree due to a change in circumstance. If this occurs, it is important to remember that only a judge can modify the terms of your divorce decree—no “side agreements” made between you and your ex will comply with Georgia law.
Reaching a side agreement without officially modifying your divorce decree through the court could inadvertently lead to a contempt action.