Cutting off financial support unexpectedly is often a heavy-handed way for a parent to control the situation. When you are faced with not being able to pay the rent, buy food, or meet other basic needs, it can be difficult not to give the other parent whatever they want to continue receiving support.
In this situation, it is important to take a stand and protect your rights. If the other parent is willing to cut off support once, they will do it again. Depending whether you have a Court order requiring child support, you must respond immediately.
If you do not have a Court order, the first step is to file a case and obtain a clear temporary order. You can usually obtain an order in a short amount of time and you will no for certain how much support you will receive going forward.
Once you have a Court order, the situation is much different. The order will state specifically how much support is to be paid and how it should be paid. For example, it is common to receive child support payments on a weekly basis on the same day each week. If that day has passed, then the other parent is in contempt of Court.
Depending on the details of your case, you may want to file a Complaint for Contempt and request the other parent be forced to pay and punished. Possible remedies can include an order for immediate payment, a legal finding of contempt, an award of attorneys’ fees, financial sanctions, or even a jail sentence in some extreme situations.
Even if you do not file a Complaint for Contempt, making the Court aware of the other parent’s actions can have a strong effect on the ultimate outcome of your case. The practical fact is that a Judge is less likely to rule in the favor of a parent who has shown a proven history of disobeying and disregarding Court orders.
If the other parent has stopped paying support, or has threatened to stop, it is important that you protect yourself and your legal rights. Contact us today to see how we can help.