If you don’t want to fall into the child support trap, you will need to take over how you argue your case. Parents who follow their attorneys blindly end up becoming a paycheck for someone else.
If you want your child to benefit from your hard work and earnings, since paying child support has no guarantees that the money goes to your child, you will have to fight to protect yourself from this cash for kids scheme.
There are many reasons parents fall behind in the state sanctioned debt allocated to a father or a mom. And you hit on the biggest one, Steve Harvey, they are probably bankrupt after their divorce!
While withholding a child and interfering with child custody when the ex doesn’t pay child support may not be grounds for interfering with child custody and withholding the child, but the courts use it for throwing the so-called “deadbeat” dad or mom in jail (debtor’s prison). If they cannot deprive a parent of parenting time directly, how is it that they can deprive a parent of parenting time by throwing that parent in jail. The net effect is the same.
Yes, the courts do this, despite that the federal law that the state is receiving money from for ordering child support, Title IV-D, states that not paying child support is not a reason to restrict the parent from possession of the child. Being behind in child support and owing child support arrears is used every day by judges to incarcerate. Perhaps the federal law should add that judges cannot incarcerate a parent for not paying. I consider jailing a parent, another form of interfering with parenting time.
If you are facing child support enforcement, you will want to know the three things you’ll need to protect your rights:
1. They need to give you an ability to pay hearing.
2. Have the constitutional defenses that demonstrate that it is unconstitutional to jail you.
3. Have the state statute in front of you that provides you with the defenses the state considers.
3. Make sure that you prepare a habeas and have it ready before your hearing.
Most of these hearings are unconstitutional and we can show you how to defeat them. While it is counter-productive to jail someone for child support, dads continue to be put in jail. States are reviewing their policies around this, but their change is too slow. And even though some states are removing some of the sanctions like suspending your driver’s license, they are still putting dads in jail and moms in jail who cannot pay, and who do not know how to defend themselves. Most states do not appoint an attorney for you for the enforcement hearing. Contempt hearings are considered civil so you are not entitled to appointing an attorney.
You can learn number 1 and number 3 in our membership site. Look for the course content section and go to child support. For an example of a habeas, you can find it free on our blog page. Just go to the Fix Family Courts blog and search for habeas. The example we have up there was for a mom who was jailed for refusing to allow her children to visit with the maternal grandparents. This just gives you an example of what a habeas can look like.
After you learn the argument you want to use in your habeas from our membership site, then go to your state pro se law help center and get a habeas template, and insert your argument. Next, see a legal professional in your state and have them help you polish off and fill in the legal technical stuff in your form. If you want some one-on-one time with one of us, you can request a consult (click here to talk to me www.fixfamilycourts.com/contactus ).