How do I avoid contempt for Failure to Pay Child Support?
“I owe thousands in child support! I don’t want to go to jail! What can I do?” These words have been said millions of times by thousands of non-custodial parent who owe child support. What is a non-custodial parent to do? – Pay something!
The best strategy is to make some sort of payment, even a partial payment. When a contempt hearing takes place, the judge would normally focus on whether the deadbeat parent is at least making an effort to pay their child support obligations. If the court records indicate that the non-custodial parent is attempting to pay, the court will be less inclined to impose a jail term. If is also wise to document your living expenses and income of the time period the support was ordered to be paid. This would help support your claim that funds were not available to pay the entire ordered amount. Come to court with a plan or proposal for the current support if owed and how to address the arrears owed in support. In other words, develop a plan to show the courts you are serious about getting into compliance and be certain it is a plan you can stick to.
The court creates a custom made law when issuing and awarding child support. The details of the individual cases are taken into consideration and the judge rules impartially in the hopes of benefiting the child or children in the case. If you fail to comply with the order as written, you are in contempt of court. By offering solutions and working with the custodial parent and courts, a mutual resolution can be found that will most likely keep the non-paying parent out of jail.