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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 30383
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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Can I file contempt of court charges against the custodial

Customer Question

Can I file contempt of court charges against the custodial parent for leaving town abruptly and not financially helping with the childs expenses. I just filed to modify custody but 3 months has passed
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.

If the judge modifies custody, they should also modify child support going forward, and the other parent would then be in contempt if they did not pay. Right now, the other parent isn't legally required to pay you anything, so you need an order first that says they have to pay before they'll be in contempt for leaving you to manage all the expenses.

It is technically a violation of the court order not to spend time with a child during your parenting time, but courts are VERY hesitant to find parents in contempt for that reason. The thought is, if a parent is only spending time with a child to avoid being penalized by a judge, the child doesn't get the same benefit out of a forced interaction as being with a parent who wants to spend time with them.

If you have any questions or concerns about what I've written, please reply so that I may address them. If I did not address the specific thing that you wanted to know, it may not have come across clearly to me, so please restate that question. It's important to me that you are 100% satisfied with the service I provide. Otherwise, please rate my service positively so that I get credit for answering your question. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How is the custodial parent not responsible for any of the childs expenses? If he would have filed the motion to change custody and support in the first place, He would have been paying all along
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

He's morally responsible, but you always need a court order before a person can be held in contempt of court. Due process requires notice and an opportunity to be heard before taking property away from someone, and that includes money. If you haven't been to court yet, you're not allowed to go back to the date the child started staying with you to get money from that date. It's unconstiutional.