If you got behind on court ordered child support but are now making payments can you be held in contempt of court?

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If you got behind on court ordered child support but are now making payments can you be held in contempt of court?

I am behind 2 months on a $285 a week court ordered child support. I have begun sending the amount and now she is saying that she is going to file a civil contempt citation because I’m not paying. Can I be thrown in jail if I am now paying?

Asked on July 20, 2011 Mississippi

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Potentially late payments on a court ordered child support payment obligation can get the person in trouble for contempt if the failure to pay was not justified. For example, if you were laid off and had no money to pay or were injured and could not work, these would be good defenses to any court ordered child support payments not timely made.

Since you are now making payments for child support, you would be in a better position if and order to show cause for contempt of a court order was issued as to you and stay current.

Perhaps you can start making additional payments on a weekly basis to pay what was not paid?

To obtain better clarity about the situation, you should obtain a copy of the child support order as to you and read it carefully. Its terms may give a grace period for lateness or provide a means to make up late payments without being considered in contempt of the order.

Good luck.

 


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