Lowell, MA asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts

Q: How do I go about getting an expedited contempt hearing?

My ex has primary custody of our kids. They live in filth and squalor, sleeping in beds with moldy food, used tampons, etc. I have video and photographic evidence, along with my ex admitting to the conditions in text messages, asking me to help clean, and stating, "I can't put all my time and energy into making sure the house is clean". I want to get my kids out of there as soon as possible, or at least force my ex to maintain a sanitary house. I filed contempt motions in February, got an answer form in April, and still do not have a court date. Do I call DCF, or is there another way to get this moving?

1 Lawyer Answer
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Woburn, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: It does sound like neglect from your description of the children's living situation and the DCF can be contacted to investigate. They will know a divorce is pending and that you are a party. Is this a new distinguishable state of affairs in the household ? One of the questions that will be asked is why the reporting is happening now if the situation was ongoing for a lengthy period . Generally once a Contempt Complaint is filed a Summons with the hearing date is provided for your arranging for serving upon the defendant with a copy of the Complaint. Therefore I am wondering whether going it alone is a good idea as you may have missed something handling matters yourself.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.