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Joseph
Joseph, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience:  I have over a decade of experience as a Family Law litigator
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If a Judge SIGNED an ORDER for both parties in a family court

Customer Question

If a Judge SIGNED an ORDER for both parties in a family court case to MEDIATE and since that mediation; which both parties mutually agreed to, was violated by one of the parties, would that violation warrant an enforcement of contempt and if so, how would that be entitled?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
If the court ordered mediation, and one party refuses to mediate, the court could hold that party in civil contempt, and have the party confined to a jail cell until the person agreed to mediate.

Hope this helps and happy holidays.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I don't think you understand. The mediation did occur and the other party violated several mutual injunctions. How can I file a motion of contempt for such a violation...in other words, how would that violation be entitled?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
Oh.

I don't feel comfortable guiding you through a Texas civil contempt procedure, because I practice in California. Frankly, if you get an answer from anyone other than a Texas family law attorney with experience in prosecuting contempts, the answer will probably be wrong -- because, contempts are notoriously difficult -- even for most lawyers.

I will opt out, and perhaps someone who actually has experience doing this in will come along to assist.

Happy New Year.
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

I would respectfully XXXXX XXXXX my colleague. While it may be difficult to prevail at a contempt hearing, I do not believe it difficult to file a contempt motion, which was your question.

 

I am a family law attorney with over a decade of experience and probably over a hundred contempt motions. As such, I feel completely comfortable answering the question you've posted.

 

Are you ok proceeding with me at this time?

 

Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes. Can you answer my question for me? Thanks.
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

After your mediation, and as you alluded to, the judge signed off on the mediated agreement. Once that occurred, that mediated agreement became a court order that you are both required to abide by.

 

If the other party has violated any term of that agreement, you may file a motion for contempt. The title of the motion would be a motion for contempt. Alternatively, you could title it as a motion for enforcement if that is what you seek. And, of course, if you seek both contempt and enforcement, then title it as a motion for contempt and enforcement.

 

The contents of the motion would be rather straight-forward:

  • You have a mediated agreement
  • The court signed off on that agreement creating a binding court order
  • That order contained _____ as a condition
  • The other party has failed or refused to abide by that condition
  • The court should now hold that party in contempt

 

Once the motion is drafted, file it with the clerk of court and then set it for a hearing. At the hearing, you will need to demonstrate that the other party knowingly and willfully violated that order.

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Everything you said makes since, but I need to clear this part up to see if this affects your answer. There was a court order signed to only mediate prior to filing anything pertaining to the child unless there was an emergency. From what I understand, if a Judge ordered both parties to work out there differences and one of those attendies violated what was in the mediation agreement, called a mutual injunction, then is not that considered contempt even if the verbiage from the mediation was not yet included in the final child-parent modification?
Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

When was the mediation?

 

It sounds like you're saying it was NOT signed off on by the judge yet, correct? If so, why not?

 

What has been violated?

 

Thank you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There was only and order to mediate, the final child-parent modification has not been signed because there are discrepencies currently being reviewed. While being reviewed, these violations occurred.

 

What will be listed are a few and not the typical kind that would be sought in an enforcement such as child support, allimony, visitation, etc. The parties were not to use corporal punishment, or to speak in a negative way about the other. These things and more were confirmed by the child's teacher.

Expert:  Joseph replied 3 years ago.

As the mediation agreement has not yet been signed off on by the judge, you probably won't have much success with a motion for contempt. As I stated above, contempt is in reference to a violation of a court order.

 

As I see it, here are your options:

 

  • You could file the motion for contempt. Again, my speculation is that you will not prevail, but it could still be used as a mechanism to bring the issue to everyone's attention.
  • Wait for the judge's signature and then file the motion. At that time, there would be a binding court order and contempt would certainly be at issue.
  • Make the other side aware of the violation. You could send a letter, to the attorney if there is one, outlining the issue and requesting compliance.
  • You could move to set-aside the mediation agreement. You probably shouldn't do this if you are satisfied with the agreement, but the violations create an opportunity to set it aside if you think it appropriate.

 

 

 

Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.

Joseph, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience: I have over a decade of experience as a Family Law litigator
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