Chula Vista, CA asked in Family Law and Child Custody for California

Q: Is it worth getting a lawyer for in contempt trial? The ex wife didn't let my husband have visitation for 3 of his times

The ex wife claims she took kids out of town but we found out afterwards that they stayed and went to school and daycare. She is pleading not guilty and we are set to go to trial. I spoke to one attorney who said most just get a slap on the wrist for this

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, contempt of court in family law matters, such as denying visitation rights, is taken seriously. While the consequences may vary depending on the specific circumstances and the court's discretion, it is generally advisable to have legal representation for a contempt trial. Here's why:

1. Legal expertise: An attorney familiar with California family law and contempt proceedings can provide valuable guidance, help build a strong case, and effectively present your husband's argument in court.

2. Protection of rights: A lawyer can ensure that your husband's rights are protected throughout the legal process and can help navigate any complexities that may arise during the trial.

3. Gathering evidence: An attorney can assist in collecting and presenting evidence to support your husband's claim, such as school or daycare records, communication logs, or witness statements.

4. Negotiation and settlement: In some cases, a lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement or agreement with the opposing party before the trial, saving time and resources.

5. Serious consequences: While some contempt cases may result in mild penalties, the court has the power to impose more severe consequences, such as fines, attorney's fees, make-up visitation, or even jail time in extreme cases. Having an attorney can help minimize these risks.

Ultimately, the decision to hire an attorney depends on the complexity of the case, the evidence available, and your husband's comfort level with representing himself. If your husband decides to proceed without an attorney, he should still thoroughly prepare his case, gather all relevant evidence, and familiarize himself with court procedures.

Consider consulting with a few more family law attorneys to get their perspectives on the case and the potential outcomes before making a final decision.

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