Today I will discuss four easy ways on how to beat contempt of court for child support. If you’re behind on your child support payments, you may be worried about the possibility of being held in contempt of court.
This can result in serious penalties, including jail time. The main answer is – to pay all the dues to get rid of contempt of the court. However, there are other ways to avoid contempt and avoid trouble.
How to Beat Contempt of Court for Child Support: 4 Easy Ways
#1. Make clear all the due payments
If you are liable to pay child support by the original custody order, you are bound to pay that.
If you are behind on your child support payments, the first step is to make a clear plan to pay all the dues. This will show the court that you are taking responsibility for your debt and are willing to make regular payments.
A partial payment is not enough. The court wants to see that you are sincerely trying to pay off the entire debt. If you can pay off the entire debt, the court may be willing to drop the contempt charge.
If you fail to do so, the court may find you in contempt and impose serious penalties. This inability will also hamper your financial life. If needed, arrange a loan, or work extra hours to make the payments before the hearing date.
#2. Show proper evidence why it is late:
The court wants to see that you are making a sincere effort to pay your child support payments.
If you have a valid reason for your late payments, bring evidence to the hearing. For example, bring documentation to show the court if you lost your job or had an unexpected medical emergency.
If the court finds that you have a valid reason for your late payments, they may be more lenient in their ruling. However, the court may find you in contempt and impose serious penalties if you do not have a valid reason.
Proving proper evidence to the court about the late payment doesn’t mean the court will excuse you from contempt or child support obligation. But, the court may show some leniency towards your side and give you more time to clear the payments.
Even the court may order you to pay the dues via regular installments according to your financial status. You may ask the court to re-examine the child support order if there is any substantial change in your financial condition.
#3. Prove your inability to pay child support:
If you are unable to pay child support, you may be able to prove your inability to pay and have the contempt charge dismissed.
To prove your inability to pay, you must show the court that you have made a good-faith effort to make your payments. This includes looking for a new job, cutting back on expenses, and taking out a loan.
You must also show the court that you cannot make your payments. This includes providing evidence of your income and expenses. The court will then decide whether or not you can pay your child support payments.
Extremely hard to prove, but you may try. If the court finds that you cannot pay, they may dismiss the contempt charge. However, if the court finds you can pay, they may find you in contempt and impose serious penalties.
If the court finds any rest property of you, even the court may order to sell that to pay the child support. So, this is not an easy task to prove your inability to pay child support in court. This is one of the difficult ways to get out of contempt of court for child support.
Declaring yourself as defaulted or bankrupt is not the option to get out of this legal obligation. You must face the court and try one of the above ways to get out of contempt of court for child support.
Hiding yourself or running away is not the solution to this problem. This will put you in more trouble. The court may issue an arrest warrant against you.
So, it is always better to face the court and try to get out of contempt of court for child support loopholes. Otherwise, this may use against you in the custody battle, and you may lose custody.
#3. Surrender parental rights:
Parental rights are automatic. They can be terminated voluntarily or involuntarily by court order. The conditions under which a parent can voluntarily surrender his or her parental rights are extremely limited.
If you are a non-custodial parent, you may be able to avoid contempt of court by surrendering your parental rights. You will no longer have any legal obligations towards your child.
However, this is a permanent solution and should only be considered if you are certain you do not want to have any contact with your child.
If you decide to surrender your parental rights, you will need to appear in court and sign a legal document stating that you voluntarily give up your parental rights. Once this is done, the court will release you from your child support obligations.
Most importantly, surrendering parental rights doesn’t guarantee getting rid of child support obligations. The custodial parent may still file a civil suit against you to collect the unpaid child support.
Only if you can prove, your extreme financial inability court may accept your request to surrender parental rights and obligation of child support. You need to consult an experienced attorney to know whether you are eligible for this.
This is one of the most difficult ways to get out of contempt of court for child support. You will lose all your legal rights and relationship with your child if the court accepts your request to surrender parental rights.
How to beat contempt for child support? You can watch this video to know details about it:
FAQs on How to Beat Contempt of Court for Child Support
What does contempt of support mean?
Contempt of support generally refers to the willful failure to pay child or spousal support. The parents who fail to do so are called deadbeat parents. This can be either a criminal offense or a civil matter, depending on the state in which it occurs. You may be fined, jailed, or both if you are found in contempt.
What are the penalties for contempt of support?
The penalties for contempt of support can be severe, including wage garnishment, seizure of assets, and even jail time. In some cases, the paying parent may be held in contempt if they fall behind on payments, even if they make a good-faith effort to catch up.
If a person is found in contempt for failure to follow the court’s order, he or she faces the following potential penalties:
- Up to 6 months in jail;
- A maximum fine of $500;
- Attorney’s fees and costs; and
- A driver’s license suspension.
There are also consequences for failing to pay child support. In addition, you may be fined up to $1,000 and placed on probation for no more than a year if you fail to pay past-due support.
You may also face a surcharge if your payments are over 30 days overdue. This implies that not paying only puts you in deeper debt.
Should I file a contempt of court for child support?
While this can be an effective way to get the other parent to start making payments, you should keep a few things in mind. First, contempt of court proceedings can be costly and time-consuming.
When can you file contempt of court for child support?
You may file a contempt action if the other parent has failed to make a required payment or comply with an order of the court.
What is a motion for contempt of child support?
A motion for contempt of child support is a legal action taken to enforce a child support order. The motion is filed with the court that issued the child support order and must allege that the non-custodial parent has failed to make the required payments.
If the court finds that the non-custodial parent has willfully disobeyed the child support order, it may find him or her in contempt of court.
The consequences of a finding of contempt can vary depending on the jurisdiction but may include a monetary fine, jail time, or both. In some cases, the court may also order the delinquent parent to pay all past-due child support in a lump sum.
What are the basic rules for a motion for contempt?
A motion for contempt must be based on a valid court order that the alleged contemnor had knowledge of and an opportunity to comply with. The order must be unambiguous, and the alleged contemnor must have willfully disobeyed it.
If these elements are met, the court may find the alleged contemnor in contempt and impose sanctions. The most common sanction is fine, but the court may also order imprisonment or other penalties as it deems appropriate. In addition, the court may award attorney’s fees to the party who brought the motion for contempt.
There are four ways to get out of contempt of court for child support. Each method has its own set of pros and cons. You should consult an experienced attorney to determine your situation’s best method.