Failure to pay child support lands father in jail

Child support orders are the method through which a court sets the terms concerning financial support of a child. In a divorce, a child support order will be entered as part of the process when parents have one or more children. Child support orders can also be request by an unmarried custodial parent of a child.

If the parent who is ordered to pay support fails to comply with the court order, there are legal steps that can be taken to enforce it. The enforcement of family court orders can be daunting for the recipient and his or her child. Once an order is in place, it can be enforced through contempt actions if necessary. An experienced Westborough family law attorney can be of assistance by finding the right avenue to enforce such a family court order.

The use of contempt actions to enforce child support orders is more common than one may think. Its use is highlighted by a recent case in which a father was convicted of 53 counts of contempt related to child support. Of these contempt charges, 31 related to the father’s willful failure to pay child support. The remaining counts concerned violations of an order to seek work. He was sentenced to 120 days in jail.

A spokesperson for the Department of Child Support Services issued a statement about the conviction saying it is the department’s hope that this father’s case will serve as an example to others who refuse to abide by child support and related orders. It urges those who are unable to meet their child support obligations to be proactive and make alternative arrangements.

Source: Daily Democrat, “Woodlander convicted for contempt after failing 53 times to not pay child support,” Oct. 30, 2012