Understanding Show Cause Cases

Last Updated : April 2, 2024

A contempt case, otherwise known as an application for rule to show cause, is an opportunity to explain yourself if you are accused of violating the terms of a legally binding divorce agreement. A divorce agreement generally includes stipulations surrounding issues such as custody, alimony, and child support. When an individual fails to uphold his or her end of these agreements, the other party can file an application to have the noncompliant party held in contempt. Before the court penalizes an alleged offender, the Court will hold a hearing and provide the offender the opportunity to show why they have not willfully and intentionally violated the court order

Common Issues Addressed in Contempt Cases

If the alleged offender fails to show that his or her violation of the divorce agreement is excusable, the court will find the offender to be in contempt of court. Many cases involve divorced couples with children. Issues addressed in show cause cases can include:

  • Failure to honor visitation rights
  • Failure to pay child support or their share of medical support
  • Former spouses not honoring alimony or spousal support agreements
  • Failure to provide health insurance for a child
  • Failure to honor the joint legal custody terms of a custody agreement which require both parties to consult one another and agree before making major decisions concerning a child

Failure to meet the terms dictated in a divorce or custody order may stem from a parent’s belief that he or she knows what is best for the child. Oftentimes, a parent believes that their ex-partner should not have access to the children. Some parents mistakenly believe that Iowa law allows children to decide whether they wish to visit a parent, but most custody orders do not provide the children with that right. Failure to ensure that children are visiting the other parent pursuant to the court-ordered schedule can often lead to contempt filings.
Whatever the case may be, if you need to file a contempt application against a former partner, or if your former partner has filed a contempt application against you, you should seek legal assistance.

Contact a Cedar Rapids Contempt Attorney

Cedar Rapids family law attorneys with the Arenson Law Group, PC, can help you prepare for a contempt case and help you with any hurdles that may come up. To speak with an attorney and get the support you need to protect yourself, contact our Cedar Rapids office at (319) 363-8199 today.