Whatt o do if my husband was ordered to pay $1000 by his next court date and that day is here and he does not have it?

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Whatt o do if my husband was ordered to pay $1000 by his next court date and that day is here and he does not have it?

He does however have receipts showing why he doesnt have it all. We got in a car accident; we only have one car. Also, we had to get the car out of repo. Will the receipts hold up?

Asked on December 12, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The main thing that your husband does need to do is to show up.  Not showing will only get him in hotter water with the judge. He needs to take what he does have as a show of good faith.  He also needs to take the receipts to show that he had unexpected expenses.  The receipts are good, but it would be even stronger if he could have the people who did the work write out a statement about having to do the work and the expense associated.  Essentially, more info is always better than less info.

As far as what will happen, that will depend on the judge.  If your husband shows up with some of the money and good documentation of why he does not have the rest, then many judges will give him an extension before resorting to contempt via jail time.  If he's in front of a very difficult judge, the judge could still hold him in contempt if he does not have the funds.  If the judge starts talking contempt with jail time, your husband needs to (very politely) ask the judge for a court appointed attorney to help him.  Generally, parents don't get court appointed attorney's in civil cases, however a judge considering jail time for contempt of a child support obligation is an exception to that rule because it involves a physical loss of liberty.  From there, the attorney can help your husband assert the defense of "inability to pay" in response to the judge's contempt ruling.


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