If a contempt action is against me, would it benefit me to make some payment prior to my court date?

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If a contempt action is against me, would it benefit me to make some payment prior to my court date?

An order to pay spousal maintenance and child support was handed down last month and if funds aren’t given a contempt action will be placed on me. Being that I don’t have the means to get the funds to her at that time, would it benefit me to pay some of it when I will have some or wait until my court date?

Asked on September 8, 2011 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

When you say that you do not have the means at this time do you mean that something happened since the original order that computer the amount that would be considered a "significant change in circumstances?"  If that is the case then it may in fact be in your interest to look in to making a cross motion for a modification of the order that set the amount based upon your present financial circumstances.  Explain in your affidavit what happened with your employment and earning capacity and then ask for a reduction of the amount.  Let the court know that you are able to pay x amount.  Strategy is best discussed with an attorney that is familiar with the system in your area.  Good luck.


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