What Is Contempt?

Contempt typically arises when one party refuses or otherwise fails to abide by the terms of the court-approved settlement, divorce decree, or other court orders.

Who Should Use These Forms?
  1. You have a court order that sets out custody and parenting time arrangements for your child(ren);
  2. You have a court order giving you certain rights and/or imposing certain duties or obligations on another party;
  3. The other parent has violated that order and/or has failed to meet his/her duty or obligation; and
  4. You would like the court to hold the other party in contempt for disobeying that court order.
Mandatory Mediation Notice

In all family relations cases that involve parenting time issues pending before the court, the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines require all parties to participate in mediation prior to scheduling any matter before the court, unless otherwise ordered by the court. A Mandatory Mediation Notice should accompany all parenting time filings.


There is no cost associated with filing contempt actions. The initial filing fee to open the case is the only fee you will be asked to pay throughout the life of your case. However, there could be costs associated with obtaining proper service.

How To Serve Contempt Papers

For the Contempt to actually proceed, the court will need proof that the other party was served with the petition. Serving the paperwork is the crucial step that gets the Contempt process started. The court CANNOT proceed without proper service. To learn more, please see the section on Obtaining Proper Service.

The Hearing

Before you go to court, you should review the section Preparing for Court and the Contempt statute so that you know what evidence you need to present to the Judge.