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What should I anticipate at the child support arraignment?

San Jose, CA |

I missed almost a year of payments due to changes (i.e. sickness & unemployment) in my life. Prior to this for 6 years and for the past 5 months, I haven't missed any payments. Child Sypport Services didn't follow up with an income withholdings order after requesting it from my former employer. As such, I'm now being charged with 12 counts (i.e. 1 count per month) of contempt of court order. I had Court on 10/23 but requested and was granted a continuation because I live almost 500 miles away and didn't have transportation nor funds to travel to Court then. However, per Child Support Service's and the other parent's request a $25,000 bench warrant was issued and stayed until the next Court date, of which I do plan to attend. What should I expect in this matter. My record is clean.

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Attorney answers 1

Posted

This is a VERY fact-sensitive question. You NEED to get a lawyer to defend you. If you are indigent, then ask the court to appoint an Independent Defense Counsel for you. They will refer you to the Independent Defense Office, who will do an intake to see if you qualify for representation.

If not, then you had better hire someone good to defend you. You may have legitimate defenses, but they need to be presented in the proper manner in order to help you.

Stakes are high, since you could potentially go to jail.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

Asker

Posted

Understandable. Will I be arrested at the arraignment?

Asker

Posted

Most non-custodial parents are found unfit through ‘Preponderance of Evidence’, one parent making strong and serious allegations against another without any evidence what-so-ever, which allows the Family Court to award greater physical custody of the child/ren to the parent making the accusation! The greater the difference in time spent with the child/ren, the greater the calculation of the money burden placed upon the non-custodial parent. ‘Beyond a Reasonable Doubt’ does not apply within the Family Court System; specifically Child Support. As a result of these allegations, I had unfair Child Custody/Visitation. Last year and earlier I fell sick and found myself unemployed for the 1st time in 20 years. As such, I fell behind on child support, and now I'm being charged with 12 counts of contempt of Court of which I'm to appear in Child Support Court, which is seperate from Family Court, for an arraignment. Prior to this and for the past 5 months I've been current as my support payments have been modified. I will request an Independent Defense Office appointment because I can't afford an attorney as my funds were exhausted fighting the false allegations for 6 years. This just doesn't seem right. The other parent can make false allegations and 6 years later after spending all my funds to fight this in addition to unfair Child Support orders, I find myself sick, out of employment, displaced from my home, behind on support and all other bills, and facing criminal sanctions for it. My record is clean. The other parent has a criminal past and continues to display criminal acts and nothing happens to her. What's wrong with this system? What can I do to protect myself, regain my losses, and hold the other parent accountable?

David Alexander Yomtov

David Alexander Yomtov

Posted

I'm sorry to read of your troubles, but no, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt has never been the standard of proof in ANY civil court. It only applies to criminal prosecutions, where the huge resources of the government are focused on putting someone in jail/prison.

David Alexander Yomtov

David Alexander Yomtov

Posted

I can't answer your question regarding arraignment, since I am not very clear on what step in the process you are in. You need to get an attorney.

Asker

Posted

This would be my 1st appearance in Court regarding this matter. I've never been charged and/or convicted of a crime. I will request an IDO appointment.

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