Saturday, July 28, 2007

Enforcing your child support order

Not getting child support as the court ordered? I have written about enforcing child support when the parties relocate, and about how non-support can lead to the payor losing his driver's license or a professional license. However, I have not written about using contempt to enforce child support.

Contempt means the willful and intentional disobedience of a court order. With child support, that means the party who is supposed to pay child support did not do so when they had the ability to pay their child support obligation. I do not think a person lying comatose will have a hard time defending themselves against a contempt citation.

Contempt requires filing an affidavit with the court. The affidavit states how the other party violated the court order and is signed under oath. The court sets the matter for a hearing. The other party gets served with a copy of the affidavit and a citation telling them when to be in court.

The court can order the person into jail or add an additional amount to be paid for the child support arrears or a combination of things or order payment of attorney fees.

Sounds simple? It can be and sometimes there are surprises.

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