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  • Writer's pictureAngela Larimer

Is It Time for a Rule to Show Cause (Contempt) Hearing? 

What Is A Rule to Show Cause Hearing? | Chicago Divorce Attorney

Learn more about rule to show cause hearings in Chicago. If you need help with making your show cause hearing go smoothly, call Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600.

A petition for a rule to show cause hearing can be filed after a divorce in Chicago if a former spouse is in contempt of court. A former spouse is said to be in contempt of court if he or she fails to abide by the parenting agreement’s requirements. A rule to show cause hearing requires the spouse to appear and give reasons why he or she took actions that are against or failed to take actions that are in compliance with the agreement or why the requested relief should not be granted. People wishing to get more information about a rule to show cause hearing in Chicago can contact Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600.

Causes of a Show Cause Hearing

For a rule to show cause hearing to proceed, one has to state how the former spouse has violated the parenting agreement when filing the petition with the court. For example, a parent may file a petition for a rule to show cause hearing if the other parent keeps interfering with his or her visitation time by dropping off a child later than the period stated in the parenting agreement, thereby violating the agreement.

Besides interference with parenting time, other violations that could be used as reasons for rule to show cause hearings include:

  • Failing to pay spousal or child support;

  • Failing to give needed information;

  • Interfering with parental responsibilities or parenting time;

  • Failure to pay court ordered maintenance payment.

What Happens During a Rule to Show Cause Hearing?

Once a party files the petition, the court schedules a rule to show cause hearing. The offending party appears in court to show cause, if he, that he or she may have as to why they should not be held in contempt of court. This means that the offending party must provide to the court a satisfactory explanation as to why he or she should not be held in contempt for violating the court's order. In essence, he or she will need to prove why he or she is or is not complying with the agreement.

The parties involved are required to present evidence to the court. Certain documents will be required. As a result, it is necessary for one to keep accurate records in preparation for a rule to show cause hearing. For example, keeping a journal may be beneficial if there are issues with parental responsibilities. A Chicago family law attorney can guide a person through the process and ensure that he or she has the information necessary to build a strong case.

Possible Outcomes

When the judge finds the offending parent to be in contempt of court, the judge could impose penalties such as monetary fines and even jail time. The court may also only admonish the parent to comply with the court order, require him or her to make a payment by a specific date, or change the parental agreement or pay the other side's attorney's fees and costs.

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