The Court itself determines when it is a criminal
contempt if it sees that he HAS an ability to pay and does not, or if it's been a very long time, but how long is subjective towards the amount owed and the time. But you don't have to wait for the court. What you have to do is to file a Motion for Enforcement by Contempt. A Motion for Contempt (MoC) is essentially the device you use to make sure the other party follows the temporary or permanent orders set out by the Judge. It doesn't matter when the original orders were - 5 weeks of 15 years ago - as long as they are still alive, they are binding.Once a MoC is filed, a hearing date is set, and the other side is served. At the hearing, you or your attorney outline the things that the other side has not lived up to (which would also be spelled out in the motion). The Judges do NOT like it when their orders aren't followed (theirs, or their predecessors - all the same). They will demand a reasonable explanation, and by reasonable, I mean a life/death/imminent harm reason.When they get none, they will verbally admonish (i.e. scream) at them, and then tell them that they have 15/30/however many days to do what they have to. At your request, they can also be made to pay for your costs in brining this motion (attorney costs and service, etc). An enforcement hearing will be set later. If they STILL do not perform, the Judge may assign punitive damages, or even imprison. Repeated contempt will hold a jail sentence
to set them straight.
Best of luck in your matter. I'm here if you need any more clarification or follow up information.
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