Have you been suddenly charged with contempt in Massachusetts for not paying your child support that was ordered by the court? Perhaps it’s in reverse and you’re filing for contempt against your spouse for not doing what was required with a court order. Either way, it’s a contentious form of family law that you never want to go through if you can amicably work it out. But in both scenarios, you have to work with a Massachusetts family law attorney to go through the proper steps to assure the contempt charge gets ironed out in the best possible way.
If you’re the one receiving a contempt charge from your spouse or ex-spouse for reneging on a court order in child support payments, you’re going to need to respond to the summons immediately. The summons is notification that there is a contempt complaint pending. The summons will include a copy of the complaint for contempt, which will outline the issues. You have to send that summons back with a logical answer before the required deadline.
Placing Your Explanation on the Summons
You have to file an answer to the court when sending the summons back. State clearly why you didn’t obey the court order, no matter what the circumstances were. Being honest is going to help you, though writing your reasons with the aid of an experienced family law attorney is prudent. In many cases, how you word the explanation will make a difference. An attorney will know how to word it just right so it’s not misinterpreted.
Once you have submitted your response, your lawyer will send the summons back to the court. They’ll also send a copy to your spouse and their lawyer so they have your explanation in writing.
Attending the Court Hearing
The consequences of disobeying a court order can sometimes mean you having to pay your spouse’s legal costs if the judge thinks you were truly in the wrong. The Judge may also enter an order requiring that you will go to jail for failing to pay child support.
When you wait for a contempt charge, you only make things worse, and it quickly becomes a situation you can’t control.
No matter the case, in any contempt charge, you should find an experienced family law attorney to negotiate the best possible outcome. Contact us directly if you’re involved in family law matter involving contempt charges.