If Custody Has To Be Enforced By Civil Contempt Proceedings Can I Receive Attorneys Fees?

There are two ways on how both parents can deal with the issues on child custody which usually arises during or after the divorce proceedings. The first way is through settlements or compromises agreements entered into without the intervention of the court. The second way is through filing a child custody case with the court which has the proper jurisdiction over the subject matter. In this type of remedy, the parents may be obliged by the court to present evidence in order to support their respective claims
The first way, as previously mentioned, is through settlements or compromise agreements entered into without the intervention of the court. This extra-judicial remedy is one that is preferred by law since disputes are already fixed between the parties without the need to undergo court litigation. For the second way, child custody cases are usually decided based on the history of the relationship that a certain parent has with the child involved. The testimonies of people who have observed the said relationship may also be admitted when the said evidence is credible and reliable.

When the court has found sufficient grounds to award child custody over the person of a child, order for the same will be issued by the judge hearing the case. The judgment must be made based on the merits of the case. The final order or judgment of the court must be respected by the party against whom the custody of the child was not awarded. Failure to comply with the said order makes the party liable for contempt of court. Therefore, a case may be validly instituted against the said person in order to enforce the judgment of the court as to child custody.

The next question that will be asked in this stage is whether or not attorney's fees are necessary to be paid when a civil contempt proceeding is instituted by the non-compliance of a child custody order. Jurisprudence provides that it is within the discretion of the court whether or not it would award fees to the attorney. Based on a Supreme Court decision, attorney's fees may only be awarded upon showing that the party acted in good faith and he has an insufficient means to defray the expenses of the suit.

In case you have no idea about this type of legal issue, you can always ask your custody attorneys who know a lot of things about this matter since it personally involves them. You can also make your own research by reading existing jurisprudence to have a better understanding of the issue at hand. At the same time, you may also ask some friends who have filed the same case as to whether or not the attorney's fees were awarded during the proceedings.

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