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How do I go about filing a contempt motion against my father?

Carmel, NY |
Filed under: Divorce Divorce decree

My parents were divorced 14 years ago. One of the conditions of the divorce decree was that my father was to pay 50% of my college tuition. I've been asking for months, trying to keep things out of the courts, but to no avail. The divorce took place in another county- do I need to file something to have the case moved to where I currently live? What type of documentation do I need for a hearing about this?

Attorney Answers 3


I would agree that the first person who should be filing the contempt motion would be your mother, as she was a formal party to the divorce case along with the agreement. However, if there is a valid reason why your mother cannot or will not file, I believe you can self-petition. And while children self-petitioning on child support matters is quire rare, I disagree with the other poster's implication that it is impossible. In any event, I encourage you to call a Westchester/Putnum Child Support lawyer to schedule a consultation.

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I am forced to bear bad news. You were not a party to the divorce, so you have no standing to enforce the decree. Contempt is not a legal action that stands on its own; it is an extraordinary remedy for violation of a order entered in a court action. Only the parties to that action have the legal standing to enforce orders entered in that case.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

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2 lawyers agree


As the other lawyer said, you can't enforce the divorce agreement. You can, however, see if your mother will move to enforce the divorce agreement. She can file a post-judgment motion to enforce his agreement in the county where she is. She will need proof of his lack of payment.

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