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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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My 19 yr old son got thrown in jail this morning for contempt

Customer Question

My 19 yr old son got thrown in jail this morning for contempt because he is unemployed and can not pay the 175/mo child support. The Pa code says that unemployed pay 50/mo. In fact, I know people who pay 50/mo because they have no job. We appealed the order but she just said we'll keep it the same.$954.00 has been paid on his child support, mostly by me. She wouldn't look at his tax return or listen to anything he said.She wouldn't even take payment today, just gave him thirty days. What can I do? There's no way he should be sitting in jail right now.
Submitted: 6 years ago via ChildSupportLaws.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I happen to be a Pennsylvania licensed expert.

I am sorry that your son is in this situation. Who refused to see the modified information, the judge? How long has he failed to make payments? How far behind is he in arrears?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes. The judge refused to look at his tax return to show what he made last year. She refused to modify the support order even though he has been unemployed. He does not have a diploma or GED so it's tough finding a job, esp. in Fayette County. He was put in arrears from the first day of the order. I think he is in arrears about $1400. He last made a payment in June. His baby is 18 months old. I have paid a total of $954 in support payments. She is not even following the Pa. code.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up.

Was any reason provided as to why the modification was not given? I suspect that likely if no reason was given is because your son is still under arrears. In that instance PA judges tend to refuse to allow a modification to take place until the debt is fully paid down, and then once the arrears are cleared out, file for a formal modification of child support on grounds of hardship and change in circumstance. That means that you should try to help him pay off the debt--once the debt is paid, he will be released, and he would then be able to file. Until then, since he is already there for contempt, I do not see a PA judge agreeing to a modification.

I am sorry.