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I need to file Criminal Contempt for unpaid child support I need need to do this myself because I do not have $ for an attorney.

Sacramento, CA |

The other parent owes over $10, 000. Lives with another person and that person's child. States that neither adult has a traceable income. They pay rent to an apartment complex, have cell phones and satelite dish, and a car registered to their address but a false name. I have served a subpeona on the apartment complex to get a payment history for eveidence in a civil contempt but they are not being cooperative. Please help. My son is also a special needs child.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Contempt is short for "contempt of court". This action is initiated by a judge after a show cause hearing.

    The person you are pursuing may not have much money either.

    You also said the other parent "lives with another person". If the other person has the car, the dish, etc; it does not mean that the other parent owns or controls these things.

    Hire a family law attorney without delay and get them to go over your matter with you.

    Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.


  2. Filing and prosecuting a contempt is simply not a "do it yourself" job; there are significant numbers of attorneys who don't know how to do it correctly. There are more effective and less costly ways to collect support. Have you contacted the local offices of the state Department of Child Support Services?


  3. This is a collection issue. Very few people have no bank account and no job. Have you set him down and taken his testimonial under oath as to his assets? Whatever he uses to pay his bills can be levied on. If he has a job his wages can be garnished.

    DCSS will go after this-- why have you not given them this case?

    Contempt is not really family law it is criminal law. It has to be proven he has the ability to pay. Contempt cannot be proven on these facts-- if YOU can't find his income how do you expect a court to do so?

    If there really is money and he is hiding it BORROW some money to hire a private investigator to find it. Again-IF there is money you will be able to repay the loan. if there is no money no court order will help. But also again-- DCSS will do this and seize his drivers license and any tax refunds and you won't have to pay them.

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