Q: Hello, if i make a couple child support payments before court will it help my contempt case so i don't go to jail?
Husband has contempt hearing coming up lost his job and was unable to pay for the past year now has part time work and we can make at least two payments before court but his job will fire him if he goes to jail for this hearing how can we avoid jail time he tried for custody of the kids and lost and the mom is keeping the kids from him and doesn't let them talk to him she is not being held accountable for that. My husband is doing his best and has always been there for events, school stuff, buys haircuts, school supplies, sports fees and equipment all that aside from the child support he doesn't deserve jail for a rough patch that we're finally getting out of but now jail time is being threatened and we can't afford a lawyer for this. What options do we have will making a couple payments show good faith before the hearing? We can't pay the full balance now we don't have that much money.
A: Holding someone in contempt involves a two-stage process. In the initial hearing, the court will attempt to ascertain why the payments were not made. If the party has a valid excuse, to the satisfaction of the court, no contempt should be found. For the hearing, you will want to gather all evidence regarding the job loss, as well as attempts to find new employment. You want to show the court that you made the best effort you could. Making whatever payments you now can will also help demonstrate your good faith to the court.
If found in contempt at the initial hearing, the party is given a certain amount of time to "cure" the contempt. If this is not done, a second hearing is held to determine why the contempt was not cured. It is at that point that jail time becomes a potential issue. As in the first hearing, if you cannot cure the contempt, you will need to show the court that you had a valid reason for not doing so.
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