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Can Your Colorado Child Support Attorney Prove Contempt of Court?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

blog-logoFighting your ex-spouse over child support was probably not the scenario you were dreaming about on the day you walked down the aisle.  The harsh realities of divorce are never more vivid than when your ex-spouse intentionally tries to reduce their child support obligation.  Whether it is their way of acting out you in a divorce, or just being an irresponsible parent, you will need the help of a Colorado child support attorney if you want to prove this to a judge. 

Unlike traditional child support enforcement, a Petition for Contempt of Court in a child support case is something that must be initiated by the plaintiff.  It is usually done when support has not been paid and there is reason to believe that the defendant is purposefully avoiding his or her obligation. 

As a Colorado child support attorney, I have seen many custodial parents take this step as a way of forcing the support-obligated parent to pay, but it is particularly effective in larger cities where the local enforcement agency is overloaded with cases.

In order to file a Contempt of Court petition for unpaid child support, your situation must meet the state’s requirements.  In this case, you would need to prove that the defendant willfully failed to abide by an order of court.  This can be proven by showing that he or she failed to pay the premiums on their child’s health insurance policy, or that he or she earned money “under the table” and failed to report it as income to avoid higher support payments.  It could be that your ex-spouse is someone who has been unemployed or underemployed for a long time and shows little or no effort to find a job.  Any of these could be considered willful disobedience of a court order.

While the court paperwork may indicate that a failure to pay the obligation in full will result in immediate incarceration, most Colorado child support attorneys will work with the judge to protect the defendant from a jail sentence. Instead, the court may require them to make a lump sum payment by a certain date, and provide proof of their actions in a follow up hearing.  

If you are considering a Contempt of Court Petition for child support in Colorado, contact the child support attorneys at the Marrison Family Law LLC for a free consultation.

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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