How Do You File a Contempt of Court in Family Law in Arizona?

A contempt action in Arizona family court is filed with the appropriate court and must include a detailed description of the actions the opposing party has taken that violate an order of the court, explains Ryan Rappicci for Avvo. The court then issues the defendant a notice to appear.

The notice to appear must be served to the defendant in person, Rappicci notes. The procedures for commencing a contempt action in Arizona family courts are governed by Rule 92 of the Arizona Rules for Family Law procedure. Contempt actions are limited to cases that allege a party is in violation of a court order, such as defying a visitation agreement or failure to pay child support. The purpose of a contempt motion under Rule 92 is to enforce compliance with an existing court order or compensate a party damaged by an opposing party's noncompliance.

Contempt actions are not meant to be punitive, Rappicci explains. However, violation of certain Arizona family law court orders can result in incarceration. For example, Title 25 or the Arizona Revised Statues details the circumstances where a party found in contempt for failure to pay child support is eligible for incarceration. Rappicci recommends seeking council from a family law attorney before commencing a contempt action.