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I have a contempt hearing tomorrow and i was wondering what…

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I have a contempt...

I have a contempt hearing tomorrow and i was wondering what will happen at it the father is almost $4000 behind and hasnt paid anything since June

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?

PA

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No

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He was in rehab from October 20th til yesterday. Will that affect the judge's decision?

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: Family Law
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11/16/2017
Family Lawyer: LegalGems, Lawyer replied 8 months ago
LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,682
Experience: Experienced Family Law Attorney
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Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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Family Lawyer: LegalGems, Lawyer replied 8 months ago

I am sorry to hear the father is not supporting his children. PA tends to be proactive about contempt issues regarding child support - for example they won't credit "time served" for such issues (please see: Warmkessel v. Heffner, 2011 PA Super 46)

This is governed by code 4353 located here:

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/23/00.043..HTM

1910.24 et seq gives the court authority over nonpayment of child support and contempt issues:

https://www.pacode.com/secure/data/231/chapter1910/chap1910toc.html

Basically at a hearing, the court will set a "purge" amount- this is the amount that must be paid either on that date, or in the very near future (date will be specified by the judge). If that is not paid, then the court can sentence the obligor per the following subsection of 4353:

Condition for release.--An order committing a defendant to jail under this section shall specify the condition the fulfillment of which will result in the release of the obligor.

Another alternative which is more likely if it is a first time offense rather than habitual, is to order probation where there will be 12 consecutive payments required, with a portion going towards arrears; if probation is violated, then jail time may be ordered.

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