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Contempt of Court

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soveryweary posted 2/18/2014 20:22 PM

I was wondering if anyone has filed a Contempt of Court form for non-payment of spousal support.
I sent him an email today stating in the divorce decree it states payments were due the first of the month either by electronic transfer or payroll deduction. He did neither for January. He sent a check with our daughter Jan. 25th. He has not paid February
He sent me back a nasty email saying I need to give him a break so he can get his finances in order and that he doesn't give a damn, have him thrown in jail.
So I want to file a Contempt of Court. Does anyone have any experience with filing it themselves without a lawyer?
Thank you so much for any advice.

[This message edited by soveryweary at 8:23 PM, February 18th (Tuesday)]

debbysbaby posted 2/18/2014 20:31 PM

If I were you I would first go down to the state child support enforcement office and enroll there for them to garnish it from his paycheck. That way he has to answer to them and it doesn't cost you anything. If he gets behind, they will file the contempt action. All you need to do is bring with you the child support order. ight bring you children's birth certs and social security cards to avoid having to bring those back. At the time you fill out the paperwork you will state how far behind he is and they will go after it.

Edited to add that I see this is spousal support, but in my state, spousal support can be garnished just like child support and handled by the same office. Check with your state.

[This message edited by debbysbaby at 8:32 PM, February 18th (Tuesday)]

BAB61 posted 2/18/2014 23:31 PM

I am interested in what you find out .. haven't D'd yet .. but can foresee this kind of thing with the STBX ... *sigh*


Chrysalis123 posted 2/18/2014 23:42 PM

NPD-x fell behind with Cs and SS.

I went to the Child Support Enforcement agency in my state and they took care of it. I think I had to pay a $25 fee and before I knew it his pay was garnished.

It was easy.

Nature_Girl posted 2/18/2014 23:50 PM

I went to our state's garnishment system. Those people are on the ball, they don't screw around, and they collect any delinquency.

really trying posted 2/19/2014 00:07 AM

don't know what state you're in but in CA, the State child support center or whatever they're called just collected the garnishment from his work and then deposited it in my account. They didn't do anything if the amount was different from the order, etc. I don't know if the same place collects other garnishments as well.

I don't know if he'd be thrown in jail for contempt of court or fined but if he's in jail, he's not working and you need him working.

but, yes, his work needs a copy of the order, they will comply.

[This message edited by really trying at 12:08 AM, February 19th (Wednesday)]

Catwoman posted 2/19/2014 04:23 AM

I've filed four Contempt of Court complaints.

It's fairly straightforward. The Clerk of the Court will have the forms and the process outlined. You will need to have your ex served by a process server--you cannot serve him and you probably can't have a relative serve him. Best to pay the fee and have it done properly. You then need to file proof of process back with the court so that they know he has been properly notified.

At the time you file, you'll be given a court date. For that date, you would need to show up and show that he hasn't paid.

In my state, SS cannot be garnished (at least not in my case--it's complicated). And in some states, garnishment won't cover payments in arrears. So while garnishment may be a good way going forward, you will likely have to file a complaint for contempt to get him to pay the arrears.


soveryweary posted 2/19/2014 05:28 AM

Thank you for the replies.
He fired me off a nasty email again, accusing me of being miserable and taking it out on him. He went on and on about how unhappy I must be. Totally not true. Funny, in the initial email all I asked was a simple question.
Told me to throw him in jail, our children will think bad of me, yadda, yadda, yadda. Now he blocked me from his email and will only talk to me in the future. Well, no talking, I'll just file the contempt of court. As for our adult children, I'm not worried, I'm only asking that their father follow the decree.
THanks again.

stronger08 posted 2/19/2014 06:13 AM

You cannot not have a logical conversation with a person who thinks illogically. The NPD comes into full swing when its time for them to face consequence. They are so wrapped up in their sick sense of entitlement that you, lawyers and even the court system can not sway their decision making. They feel they are entitled to do what they want when they want and should have no repercussions for their actions. He feels he is a victim and will demonize you because your the enemy in his eye. And his grand stand of nonpayment is his way to show you he is still in charge and holds the power. Your only recourse is to go to enforcement and allow the state show him that the courts have the final say, not him. This is his last ditched effort to hold control over you. You need to knock him off his high horse and allow the legal system to deal with his ass. Don't threaten it, just do it and let the chips fall where they land. And while your waiting for the system to work its magic, go NC and stop giving him a platform to preach his nonsense from.

Merlin posted 2/19/2014 07:06 AM

Contempt of court is an offense against the court.

You cannot 'file' for it. They are issued by the court.

crisp posted 2/19/2014 08:14 AM

Did you check on your state support obligation resources? As many of the ladies stated in responses, where there is an infrastructure for state sponsored payroll deduction, the fasted and easiest way to get regular and timely payments is through those procedures. If you need a Court order in your jurisdiction, file a motion to compel/hold in contempt. The court will fashion an appropriate remedy like payroll deduction. Contempt usually only comes in when there is no employer (self employed or otherwise) and the court finds an ability to pay. Bottom line---don't involve the court unless you have to. Use the payroll deduction/garnishment process if it is available without court order.

itainteasy posted 2/19/2014 08:29 AM

If you are going to talk to him from now on instead of email (since he so maturely blocked you) make sure you record all conversations so he can't ever twist your words, or make shit up. I would tell him before every conversation "This is being recorded" so he can't claim you recorded him in secret.

crisp posted 2/21/2014 06:59 AM

Only a few states require disclosure before recording conversations. Unless you live in one of those states, there is no need to tell him.

soveryweary posted 2/21/2014 07:22 AM

He sent a check over with my daughter last night.
I don't like her having to be the go between, but at least he paid. He didn't pay the way the decree states, so I'm not sure what I am going to do about that.
And why is it I am feeling bad, like I did something wrong? Oh I know, it's because this is how it went our whole marriage. I did something he didn't like, he berated me, making me feel like crap. As I read so many times here, lather, rinse, repeat.
Thanks for all the advice.

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