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Vegas wedding leads to jail time for father in custody case

On behalf of Law Office of Ann A. Thomson, A Professional Law Corporation posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012.

There is no doubt that some divorce cases become heated between the spouses, and in some instances the children seem to get caught in the middle as one parent fights for custody. When agreements are not easily made, a judge often steps in to make certain decisions before the decision-making power of each parent is determined.

When a judge issues an order, failure to follow that order can result in a contempt of court charge. In one custody case, this authority covered the ability to order that a father enroll his son into a boarding school across the country. The father failed to do so, resulting in a prison term for him and an action that effectively ended the custody case altogether.

Instead of following the order, the millionaire father consented to the marriage of his minor son to another woman in Las Vegas. In this instance, the son was 16-years-old and his wife was the family’s 18-year-old housekeeper. The marriage took place in Nevada because only one parent’s consent is required to allow a minor to wed. The effect of the marriage? The child became an emancipated minor and the issue of custody and visitation became moot. The son now lives in a penthouse owned by the father.

In response to the 65-year-old father’s disregard for the court order, he was charged with contempt of court and received a 180-day jail sentence. In the final order, the judge wrote that “It is hard for this court to imagine a bolder, more egregious example of indirect criminal contempt.”

Source: ABA Journal, “Fla. Millionaire Gets 180 Days for Contempt in Divorce Case for Permitting Vegas Wedding of Son, 16,” Martha Neil, July 12, 2012


From offices in Seal Beach, the Law Office of Ann A. Thomson serves clients throughout Southern California in communities such as Seal Beach, Santa Ana, Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Corona Del Mar, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Norwalk, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes and Los Angeles.