Contempt of Court in Arizona is when a judge determines (after a hearing) that a party

  1. Had knowledge of a valid court order;
  2. Could have complied with the order, but
  3. Failed to comply. When a party is found in contempt, the judge can issue sanctions (or penalties) until there is compliance with the order.

Examples of sanctions include incarceration, revocation of professional licenses, and even restrictions on a party’s passport and international travel.

A person can be held in contempt of Court for failure to pay child support, spousal support, or attorney fees, or failure to follow legal decision-making and parenting time orders.

The requirements of the order, the type of issue at dispute, and the specific language of the order typically dictates the types of relief and penalties available.

What does it mean to be in Contempt of Court – and What are Some of its Consequences?

Being found in contempt of court means that one has ignored or neglected to follow a court order that set a specific responsibility or expectation of him/her. Depending on the infraction, contempt of court consequences can include fines, compensatory visitation, a modification to the custody arrangement, and in some instances even jail time. In most cases, if someone is held in contempt, the court will first give them the opportunity to make amends for the violation. One of the more common situations involving contempt of court is failing to pay child support. For more information on violating a child support obligation and being found in contempt, please see the “Child Support” section of this site.