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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 19111
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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My children are past 18 but I have been ordered to pay

Customer Question

my children are past 18 but I have been ordered to pay arrears to my ex wife. the judge said he found me in contempt and I was ordered to send money until the debt is paid off. I have been sending this money for a year but I came on hard financial times and havnt been able to send the full amounts weekly for the past month or so. I fully plan on paying this off but my ex is threatening to go back to the courts. since this is no longer support what are my personal risks if she goes to the court.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I'm an attorney. I’ll be happy to help you in any way I can. This site is for educational purposes only. Sometimes - although certainly not always - experts have to give you what you deem “bad news” but that should not be a reflection of how satisfied you are with the assistance your expert provided. Experts on this site receive credit for assisting you when you click the rating (the stars) so please submit a rating prior to logging off. You aren't charged anything extra by submitting a rating.

The risk if she goes to court is that you will be held in contempt which could lead to jail time (especially since you've already said you were found to be in contempt once). But even if there isn't any jail time involved, if she wins her motion she can ask the judge to grant her attorneys fees, which will be an additional expense to you on top of the arrears. I hope this helps (although it's probably not what you wanted to hear). Please let me know if you have any other questions or you need me to clarify anything. Please also submit a rating if you're satisfied with your assistance; this will not cost you anything extra. We only get credit for the time we take assisting you if you are satisfied AND ALSO ​submit a rating. And please don't feel like we have to stop talking after you submit a rating. I'd be more than happy to continue working with you after that as well.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
we already went to court and the judge found me in contempt and ordered me to pay arrears. the court is in GA , she and I both now live in CA. Are you saying that I can be arrested in CA? I am making smaller payments but not full ones. the childeren are grown and dont live with her. since the support time is ended and this is just arrears is it still under the same regulations as Support or is it now a court ordered debt?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Olivia I hope that isnt what I just paid $45 for?
Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

Failure to pay child support can lead to a contempt action being filed against the non-paying parent - at any time - and enforcement can be at any time. If a judge decides to enforce his finding of contempt, this *can* (although does not HAVE T)) lead to a bench warrant, jail time, or an attachment to bank accounts. In addition, the other party would be entitled to attorneys fees should they file for them. I really wish I could give you "better" news but that would be doing a disservice to you.

Expert:  Olivia Kent replied 1 year ago.

Per http://dcss.dhs.georgia.gov/faq-0#DCSS16 the most common method of collecting arrears is to deduct current support plus an additional amount from the non-custodial parent's wages. Other methods used to collect arrears include tax refund intercepts, license suspensions, and contempt actions. Also per the site, "The Division of Child Support Services has many administrative enforcement actions available including automatic wage withholding, drivers and professional license suspension, tax refund and lottery intercept and referral to credit bureaus. Contempt actions are usually taken when administrative enforcement actions have failed." However, in Georgia, statute gives the child support program the authority to waive, reduce, or negotiate the payment of state-owed arrears for administrative child support orders if it is determined that there is good cause for nonpayment or that enforcement would result in substantial and unreasonable hardship to the parent or parents responsible for the support. Courts also have discretion in applying or waiving past due interest owed on arrears. I hope this clarifies things. Please let me know if you have any other questions or you need me to clarify anything. Please also submit a rating if you're satisfied with your assistance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
wow that was a giant waste of money. Crap! I could have just sent my ex that $45. Thank you for quoting from the website.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

A different Professional here.

Your follow-up question:

Yes we already went to court and the judge found me in contempt and ordered me to pay arrears. the court is in GA , she and I both now live in CA. Are you saying that I can be arrested in CA?

Response 1: Yes, you can be arrested in California for nonpayment of your child support obligation in Georgia.

I am making smaller payments but not full ones. the childeren are grown and dont live with her. since the support time is ended and this is just arrears is it still under the same regulations as Support or is it now a court ordered debt?

Response 2: It is still under the "same regulations." Child Support is Child Support whether arrears or not arrears. Penalties and enforcement for nonpayment are still the same: jail time, tax refund intercept, levy on bank accounts, wage garnishment, suspension of driver's license, suspension of professional license. etc.

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