Afraid to file for contempt

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Bunnyme

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Afraid to file for contempt
« on: August 18, 2021, 11:36:26 PM »
After 2 months, I've still not gotten any support, and he has continued to violate the agreement in multiple ways.  My attorney thinks it is time to file for contempt.  I am scared.  I keep telling her that I dont have the money, and yes, they can say he has to pay, but when he still doesnt...I'll be in a worse situation than I'm in now.  I know part of me is also afraid just because I know how angry he will be and I fear the repercussions.  Despite that, I will fight for what my kids need. 
Has anyone gone the contempt route with their PD?  Did it get you anywhere? 
He is currently not working (though he has an inheritance locked up in a trust).  He lied during our negotiations and told his own attorney he was working, too, but he was actually unemployed when he agreed to the support number.  I am not sure how this will go...cant squeeze blood from a stone and all. 

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eyesopen

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2021, 01:16:03 AM »
I will start by saying Iíve never had to file for contempt nor faced a situation where Iíd need to, so consider that in reading my response.

My advice is to do whatís best for your children. Stop for a moment and really think about that.

A prolonged court battle isnít helpful in and of itself. If you think your ex is just messing around with you and that filing for contempt will bring him in line, then do it. Donít hesitate, do it.

But it sounds like youíre not likely to get your legal costs covered, youíre not likely to get much of anything from him other than continued defiance and this would give him even more reason to try to fight you.

Now, Iím not suggesting you let him off, not at all. This is more of a ďchoose your battlesĒ moment. However much you want him to change so that he does what heís agreed to, is that really possible or is it wishful thinking? How will your children be affected either way? If heís never going to pay what he owes, then additional court actions will just harm things more with the kids.

My recommendation, get a copy of Donít Alienate the Kids by Bill Eddy. It covers this exec at topic on great detail.

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2021, 02:33:29 AM »
Is your long term goal to get sole custody? Would filing bring you closer to that?
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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Bunnyme

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2021, 02:58:14 AM »
Thanks.  I will check out the book, as I have read Splitting and found it helpful.  I am in a fragile place at the moment, so I will proceed with caution.  I'm just not in a place to read how I need to just put up with whatever he does to avoid conflict.  I hope that isnt the whole premise, though I will do anything for the kids.
I am panicked about paying for daycare.  I'm already looking into second (and third) jobs so that I dont have to worry about getting anything out of him. 
I appreciate your response.

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Bunnyme

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2021, 03:07:36 AM »
Notright, I have custody currently, so this wont change that.  It is about trying to get him to pay some of the support for the kids.  That's my dilemma.  I dont know that taking him to court will change that, either. 
Then again, it is money that he is withholding from the kids.  I feel an obligation to get them everything I can. 
This is just so hard.  I'm not deciding now, as there are many other issues happening in my life right now.  I told my attorney today, though she keeps warning me not to let this go too long.

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blunk

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2021, 09:51:49 AM »
I am so sorry you are facing this difficult decision, but I can see your attorney's point in not waiting too long. If there are no consequences for his behavior, he will continue with more of the same.

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Rose1

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2021, 11:28:23 AM »
There may be another way. Exbpdh had no intention of "helping me out" in any way and that included child support. The first year was tough but i got through it partly by sharing with a friend for a bit.  That wasnt ideal but helped financially.

 We have an option of child support being collected by a gov agency on our behalf.  They have few teeth but its on record and they will collect down the track if possible.  I eventually got a tax return cheque he didnt get (he also didnt make that mistake again). But he did not like being held accountable and worked twice as hard on avoidance than he would have otherwise.  I did get some money out of him but not much.

Better than nothing.  However,  i was able to slowly increase my pay by gaining work experience,  accepting training, and eventually a work scholarship.  It took a while.
In the meantime i had to research gov help for childcare and after school care. It got easier.
My advice is to work on outperforming him and becoming  independent , make a family with your kids, do stuff together like he isn't there.

Build memories, the time goes fast.  You get tired but thats not too bad, get some alone time and rest.

My kids are adults now and we have a great relationship.  Both are nc with their father because of his behaviour.  We've had some great times on the cheap and not so cheap as things got better.

Unfortunately a lot of pds see child support and other dependence as a tool to play games. Holding their feet to the fire works for some, not for others. You probably know what your situation is and throwing good money after bad can be better spent. Like on retraining or upgrading qualifications


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Bunnyme

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2021, 02:05:58 PM »
I have a good job.  I'm just saddled with debt from a short sale we did...so paying the old house payment for a place we dont own plus my current housing.  Once the kids are past full time daycare age, I should be fine, but that is a couple of years out.  I make too much to qualify for assistance.  Around here, my daycare is over 1600 a month, and that is with the cheaper options...not the big centers.  My backup plan in case he didn't pay was for a family member to take one of the kids, but she had a stroke last month (and now I'm also caring for her...)

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Penny Lane

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2021, 03:05:01 PM »
My DH has taken his ex to court for nonpayment and also for contempt on a non financial issue.

Both times we ended up in a better situation, and she did eventually pay back the money. But court took a heavy emotional toll on him, and his ex did some pretty heavy alienation/manipulation of the kids during the court process.

Here is my 2 cents. Court is terrible and it is not worth it for a short term gain. However, going to court can produce lasting changes that are good for you and your kids. You want to really target your interventions to create lasting change.

I assume your lawyer has already written his lawyer a letter about this? That would be my first step. Sometimes the (implied) threat of action can get the other lawyer to pull the PD in line.

The reason to file would be if you think that itíll encourage him to pay on time every time, or even more frequently, in the long term. If you think it would, then itís definitely worth the heartache and the money. The other reason is to document the problem in order to get a longer term solution. Like, if you keep having to go back to court over child support, maybe the court could order it come directly from his wages? Or whatever.

The reason not to file would be that the amount of money you get from child support isnít worth the stress to you of going back to court. Only you can make that calculation ó it really depends on your finances and your mental state right now. Donít worry so much about what you ďshouldĒ do for the kids. Your ex is giving you two bad options (forgo this child support at least temporarily vs enter another court fight where he will inevitably throw a tantrum). Picking the lesser of two evils isnít shortchanging your kids. Itís him thatís shortchanging your kids by not paying child support he owes them and (probably) throwing a tantrum if you try to get it.

Your lawyer is giving you good advice within the structure of court. Yes court is SUPPOSED to take care of this. But the reality is that court has huge limitations and difficult exes can find ways around them. So itís ok if you decide that, yes, you could go after him as your lawyer advises. But youíre looking at more facts than she has and itís just not worth it for reasons outside the legal system.

In some ways, since heís creating a lose-lose situation, you canít really go wrong. You just make the best decision with the facts you have at hand and hope it goes well for you.

Good luck, and Iím sorry youíre having to deal with this.

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hhaw

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2021, 07:46:00 PM »
Bunny:

You have to ask yourself..... why are you so afraid?

Are you afraid of being harmed physically?  Of the PD harming the children?  Of him showing up at yoru workplace and making a scene. Really think about that.

I usually tell folks to hold the stbx's feet to the fire in every possible way.  It moves things forward more quickly and saves time, money and trauma in the long run, IME.

As for filing contempt..... I was afraid to do it too. My attorney told me I HAD to, bc HE was going to enforce the Agreement he'd FORCED ME TO SIGN when I was telling him my STBX would never ever ever honor it...and then I was just too paralyzed by fear to feel OK about it.

I had good reason to feel fear and I told my attorney about it.He told me I was a sniveler, paraphrasing here,but he'd had 2 clients murdered duing divorces he was handling for him and one attempt on his big football playing life and sniveling didn't look good on me. 

I documented the fear and tried hard NOT to file that Contempt Charge, but my attorney did it anyway.  I knew I'd be in danger.

What does your gut say about how your stbx will handle a contempt charge?

Honor your gut, B. 

Maybe you need a protective order? Maybe you need to stay with other family members when the stbx finds out you filed the contempt? Maybe you don't have anything physical to worry about, but the stbx's anger and raging, which is enough to threaten you and drive you into fight or flight, but isn't reason for a protective order or to NOT file contempt?

Lighter
hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
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"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
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Rose1

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2021, 02:42:57 AM »
That's difficult.  It adds another layer if stress if you are a carer as well. Is there any support available for that? Sometimes its very hard to make the time to research when you're already at capacity.

I also assume its a waste of time making your ex take his share of the house issues. I was left with a family business in debt and eventually after a year i had to close it and wear credit issues.

That's what made the first year particularly hard,  along with the constant sniping.  But we got through. Great you have a good job!
Not sure if this is relevant but in case he comes back at you financially down the track his share of the debt should be included in the mix. Does your lawyer think this is possible?  My ex made money noises after 3 years and that's the only thing his child support arrears were good for.

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Bunnyme

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2021, 11:37:32 AM »
In a shocking turn of events, I got a check for the back support he owed.  Of course, it came from his parents...he says he gave the money to them and then they wrote me the check.  Whatever.  I'm caught up. 
He lied again about his job, and I dont think he will actually pay going forward, but the lump sum keeps me afloat for at least a few months.  Whew!  I needed this win.

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xredshoesx

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2021, 01:53:54 PM »
bunnyme i'm so glad it has resolved itself this time.  just keep documenting and keep your head up.  we get it <3

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Rose1

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2021, 06:12:28 AM »
Excellent news

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hhaw

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Re: Afraid to file for contempt
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2021, 03:39:32 PM »
Bunny:

Do you feel his parents paid the back debt bc your attorney told opposing counsel contempt charges were going to be filed, or.... did the find out some other way?

There's power in holding PD's feet to the fire, IME. 

Allowing them to get away with small things leads to them trying to get away with large things/everything, IME.

Congrats and keep moving towards the exit.

hhaw



What you are speaks so loudly in my ears.... I can't hear a word you're saying.

When someone tells you who they are... believe them.

"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
Nietchzsche

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness."
Eleanor Roosevelt