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Divorce: Stay of execution same day as court contempt for child support: If I'm not present at court - can that have a negative

Boston, MA |

I have a court date coming. basically in the final judgement I was ordered to pay a 400% in child support with retroactive backdated to 3 years ago - so basically I'm now owing about $40,000 OVERNIGHT !
My family business has been dissolved and I am out of a job with no income. I was sent to jail twice before even though I have no income.

We are appearing at court again on a contempt but also were able to put a motion of "Stay of execution" - so the judges original orders are back until the appeals case kicks in.

I may have to leave the country due to a family emergency - does this put me at a disadvantage ? Can the judge decide NOT to hear the stay of execution argument since contempt is on the docket and I am not physically there?

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Attorney answers 2


This can have negative consequences for your case. You need to go into court as soon as possible to see what you can do to postpone this hearing until you can appear or you can arrange for counsel to appear and have the court waive your appearance. If you cannot afford an attorney, you need to get the court to agree to postponing the hearing. Not showing up will harm your case.

This answer has been provided by the Law Offices of Mark A. Cotton and should only be used for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be construed as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Likewise, any submission or receipt of information using this online communication, does not create a lawyer-client relationship.


You need to retain an attorney. I am a former DOR Attorney, and surprisingly these types of "overnight" child support arrears creations are not uncommon.

You need to show up to all future court hearings, and ask the court to waive your appearance.

Very truly yours,
Anthony Rao, Esq.

The above response is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer, and any communication between us is not protected by attorney-client privilege.