Child Support Contempt
If a parent fails to pay child support in Pennsylvania, they may be held in contempt and face serious consequences.
When a divorce occurs, a child support order is often imposed on the non-custodial parent or the parent that does not attend to the day-to-day needs of the child. If this parent fails to make payments or violates any other terms outlined in the arrangement, they can be held in contempt of court. The penalties for this act can be severe, including fines, jail time, or both.
Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC was founded because we want to help people like you get through stressful situations. With considerable experience navigating the Pennsylvania legal system, our child support attorneys can help you avoid being found in contempt for not adhering to your child support agreement, or help you regain your good standing with the court if you’ve already had a contempt order entered against you.
Call (412) 471-5100 now to see how your rights can be protected.
The Process and Criminal Penalties
If child support payments have not been made, the receiving parent can request a hearing before a judge. Here, the parent may request that the other party is held in contempt of court for not following the rules outlined in the child support agreement. The violating parent will then be issued a document that orders them to attend a hearing. At this point, both parties will make their case. If the violating parent does not attend the hearing, a warrant may be issued for their arrest. In Pennsylvania, courts will consider each case individually but have many options for penalties.
Avoiding Jail Time
While it is possible to represent yourself during a contempt hearing, doing so may put yourself at grave risk of spending time in jail. A skilled lawyer can help you through the process and ensure you provide an adequate defense. The only way to avoid civil penalties is to be prepared. You must show the judge that you did not intentionally violate the terms of the child support order. First, you must provide reasoning for the violation. Perhaps you suddenly lost your job, or maybe you are suffering from a debilitating medical condition. At this point, you will be required to explain your reasoning for not requesting a child support modification hearing. It might be the case that you were bed-ridden due to a physical or mental disorder, making it impossible for you to take any legal action. A capable child support lawyer can be your voice.
If there is an explanation your lawyer can attempt to obtain statements from those who can verify that you were unable to function. It might also be the case that you were unable to afford the legal fees associated with modifying a custody order. In this case, it can be helpful to bring the name of the lawyer or legal aid you previously spoke to, the date of the conversation, and the fee you were quoted.
Call Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law, LLC Today
There is no doubt that the penalties for being found in contempt are harsh. Whether they involve fines, jail time, or both, the civil consequences issued by a judge can dramatically affect your life. From a ruined career to altered relationships with loved ones, contempt charges can be devastating.
As a Pittsburgh child support lawyer, Anthony Piccirilli knows too well that being found in contempt of court can lay waste to everything you have worked so hard to achieve. He will work aggressively to help you deal with this serious legal matter.
Call (412) 471-5100 today to see how he can help you.