I recently sat and did my portion of the interview with a court appointed Guardian Ad Litem. I made a $400 cash payment. I was told that a full payment should have been rendered 7 days from the initial order. The Order was input in mid January so basically he is stating that the full $1000 payment was due in January. The next court date is February 28th. The GAL stated that the remainder of the retainer fee is due by that court date or I will be held in contempt of court? Can he do that? Now I am not attempting to skip out on payment and have every intention on paying the remainder of the fee, but I was told by his receptionist that I could get on a payment plan, but the GAL stated otherwise.
what is important is what is in the court order. if it says pay in full within 7 days, then that is what the judge may enforce with contempt.
can he enforce the order by doing a petition for contempt for your failure to comply with the court order, absolutely yes,
if you are not attempting to skip out on the payment of the fee, then just pay it. the receptionist does not have the power to overrule the court order.
the judge established the payment plan in the order. the plan is pay in full within 7 days. that is the plan. i suspect that other than court ordered child support, this is the only other court ordered debt you have. it is therefore next in line for your money after the child support. but you want to pay other items first and stretch this out with a plan. did you offer a specific plan? usually people in your situation want a plan but do not offer one. the gal has the plan in the order. what plan did you offer? have you made any payments in accord with your plan?
just pay the gal.
The order is controlling and usually sets forth a date for when the retainer to the GAL is due in full. You would be wise to comply with whatever it says in the court order for a couple of reasons: first, it is risky to aggravate the GAL when they are brought into a case by a court's order. Should a GAL hold an incomplete payment against you? Of course not. Does it happen... what do you think? Second, the judge may think: if this person doesn't even comply with court order for payment to the GAL, what else that I order are they not going to comply with. This is not a fight you want to have.
Although I agree you should pay the GAL, perhaps you should have explained the situation with your now former attorney to the GAL. Had you known, you could have paid your former attorney less so you could have paid the GAL. Do everything you can to make the payment by the next court date.
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