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FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  10 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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wife is taking me to court for being a couple of months late

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wife is taking me to court for being a couple of months late on alimony in SC but I don't have the resources to make the payments due to disability. I can either make the alimony or the house payments but not both and was just approved for mortgage modification making trial payments now. I have proof of eleven contempt of court against her and am wondering if I can bring that up when we go to court on the alimony charges?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good evening. If she was found to be in contempt, why has no action been taken by the court? Also, once you knew you were unable to make the alimony payments, did you try and file a motion with the court to modify it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I only have the evidence of her 11 contempt of courts which I was only hanging onto in case she took me to court like this. The alimony was awarded as a lump sum amount of $64,000 made payable at $1000 a month. As long as I wasn't paying my mortgage of 1126. a month it was bad but not impossible. I want to know if I can bring up her contempts when we go to court? I also want to know what I need to do to make sure I don't go to jail short of making the full payment?


Thank you for the additional information. The evidence which you have of her being in contempt of court, is separate and apart from the issue with alimony. While you 100% have a legal right to proceed through the court and address this with the Judge, allowing him or her to take action, it will not effect or reduce your obligation to pay the court ordered alimony. While the lump sum amount of alimony may remain, you could always seek to modify it, based upon a substantial change in circumstance, showing that you can only afford $500 a month or $750, even if it is only temporary. You will want to show a hardship and that based upon your disability, it is effecting your income. You can advise the Judge that you are unable to pay both the mortgage and alimony and allow him/her to consider a reduction. I do not think this is something that will automatically result in your serving jail time but I do think the Judge is going to be looking for a valid and good faith explanation as to why it was not paid and they would likely give you a chance to catch up. Jail is a last resort and imposed when no effort is made to pay or comply with the court order, without a valid excuse.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Do you think it is a good idea to make my best effort to pay what I can when asked?

I also wanted to tell you that the judge that awarded her alimony despite her affair and being totally unfair to me went way out of his way to prove he wasn't playing favorites as my brother is a senior judge to him! The ex made several threats to everyone involved. She had one attorney quit and two guardian ad-litems quit (one retired). She was diagnosed a paranoid delousinal with no therapy and got custody after I had custody for 2.5 years.

Can a different judge in a different jurisdiction change a lump sum alimony?

Yes, it is always a good idea to show a good faith effort to pay. Even if it is not the whole amount, it will prevent any large amount of arrears and interest from running and being added on. As far as the issue with a different Judge in a different county, it would have to be as a result of your brother being a senior Judge and no Judge possessing the ability to be fair and impartial. If you think there was any wrong doing by the Judge that ordered it or that he went out of his way to award her what she was asking just to show he was not playing favorites, you could always consider appealing the decision.
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