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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I have been ordered to pay all the arrears on my child support

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I have been ordered to pay all the arrears on my child support and my ex wants me to appear in person to pay but I live over 5 hours away and have no means to get there. Why can't I just pay it at our local Domestic relations office? I will lose my job if I do take off work and I don't have the money to pay to travel.
Thank you for your question. I happen to be a Pennsylvania licensed professional who will do my best to assist you this morning.

If I may ask, did you get a court order requiring you to appear, or is this request simply something that your ex put to you?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


They are saying at the domestid relations office that she has the judicial power, not me. She wants me to appear to pay it.

Thank you for your follow-up.

My apologies but what you are being told is bunk. Only a judge or a judge's order can force you to appear in court and/or personally make a payment. Beyond that the other parent can file a motion in court to compel, but she cannot directly compel you to appear. If there is no court order in place, so long as you make the payment in a timely manner, potentially via your agent such as your attorney, you are not in violation. Now, if you are discussing coming to court over a contempt petition over non-payment of arrears, then that is different. Here, it is not the ex seeking that you appear, it is the judge requesting that you appear, and that you do have to appear as otherwise a bench warrant for your arrest on grounds of contempt of court order would be ordered against you.

Good luck.

Dimitry K., Esq. and 10 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I read the order again and it was the judge requesting me to appear. I have no way or funds to appear so what do I do. since I missed the date. Please help me


 

Thank you for your follow-up.

Ugh, that a different situation and a harder situation to deal with. If I may ask, when was the hearing, how long ago?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Just the 27th of sept. They didn't leave any time to prepare either. I just can't get there.


 


 

This is not a very good situation. Call the court as soon as possible to speak with the clerk, explain that you did not obtain enough notice, and ask if the judge would be willing to speak with you via phone so that you can explain your absence. This is a long-shot by far, but it may keep you from being arrested on a bench warrant. Otherwise you must make plans to appear as soon as you can, or you can arrested for contempt of court, both for failing to appear in court and for failing to make timely payments.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I just don't understand what they expect me to do. It is 5 hrs away and I dont have a way to do this appearance I am almost able to pay the arrears in full if I dont have to spend all my credit on going there.


 

They expect you to appear, likely to be admonished and chastised by the court over failing to appear in the past and for not making payments on time. I am sorry that you are in this situation, truly, but a judge can demand you show, even if it may not always make sense to you or to anyone as to why it makes sense for you to be there. The fact you do not have enough to make the journey is not the court's concern, they made a ruling and expect you to abide by it.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the help but I haven't been late on payments and they have been taking extra on the arrears. She just went to demand it all.

Thank you for your follow-up.

In that case appearing and showing your past payments history and that you have not missed any dates is in your best interest. That would show that you have not been somehow in breach of terms, and that my potentially get the judge to agree to not increase your current payments.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Oh I forgot she was supposed to get paternity testing done and has since refused as well. I will call the judge as well tomorrow Thanks


 

You are most welcome, and good luck to you!