Separation and divorce
Contempt of court: When someone refuses to comply with a judgment
When a judgment is rendered, it must be complied with. In other words, judgments are “enforceable.” If someone refuses to comply with a judgment, they can be found guilty of contempt of court. Read on for an explanation.
Deterrence of and punishment for failure to comply with a judgment
The purpose of contempt of court proceedings is to deter and punish a person who refuses to comply with a court judgment. In some cases, it’s the last resort available to achieve justice and enforce a judgment.
A person is convicted of contempt of court when it can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they have deliberately ignored a judgment and that there is no justification for their conduct.
Consequences up to and including imprisonment
Punishment for contempt of court can be a fine as high as $10,000 and community work. Imprisonment is even possible if the person continues to refuse to comply with the judgment.
Therefore, this is a proceeding that shouldn’t be taken lightly. In family cases, it should be a last resort, particularly when there are children involved, since a conviction for contempt rarely improves the relationship between the separated parents.
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The information presented on this page is not a legal opinion or legal advice. This page explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. To obtain a legal opinion or legal advice on your personal situation, consult a legal professional.
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