Non-custodial parent has not seen or provided for our child for three years. DCS has done everything in their power: suspending all licenses, suspending passport, reporting to creditors, etc. DCS is now taking non-custodial parent to court for contempt. Non-custodial parents owes back thirty thousand dollars; used to have a well paying job( for 4 years) until they got fired the same year that we went to court for custody. Non-custodial parent has been jumping job to job ( without reporting to DCS ). I have provided proof to DCS of non-custodial working; soon as DCS tries to garnish wages, non-custodial parent quits jobs. Non-custodial parent also moved out of the state of Oregon to Washington.
Will there be any relief with the contempt hearing? I have heard mixed messages regarding contempt of court in the state of Oregon.
Thank you for your assistance.
It will be up to the judge, see ORS Chapter 33 regarding contempt for a full list of options. The judge has the ability to place the person in jail, set time limits on finding a job, set other requirements to ensure the support is paid, but all of the court's enforcement powers are sort of contingent on the court being convinced that his lack of support is willful. That he could work but is choosing not to, jumping job to job and state to state specifically to avoid paying support. So make sure they have all the evidence you can provide to make that clear to the judge. And if possible, ask the judge for a specific order that will allow you to "squeeze blood out of a turnip" so that IF you have a judge who does not think he or she can force someone to pay support, there is a specific order you are requesting that he or she can at least try. The plan should start with proof of employment applications, so many per week, and proof of employment within a certain time, and proof of payment after that, or else he goes to jail for a while, but be sure your specific plan fits within what the law allows. ORS 33.105(f) is an open ticket, use it wisely:
(1) Unless otherwise provided by statute, a court may impose one or more of the following remedial sanctions:
(a) Payment of a sum of money sufficient to compensate a party for loss, injury or costs suffered by the party as the result of a contempt of court.
(b) Confinement for so long as the contempt continues, or six months, whichever is the shorter period.
(c) An amount not to exceed $500 or one percent of the defendant’s annual gross income, whichever is greater, for each day the contempt of court continues. The sanction imposed under this paragraph may be imposed as a fine or to compensate a party for the effects of the continuing contempt.
(d) An order designed to insure compliance with a prior order of the court, including probation.
(e) Payment of all or part of any attorney fees incurred by a party as the result of a contempt of court.
(f) A sanction other than the sanctions specified in paragraphs (a) to (e) of this subsection if the court determines that the sanction would be an effective remedy for the contempt.
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