If you are not able to secure timely support payments with an Income Withholding
Order, discussed above, your next best option may be to seek court intervention.
An Income Withholding Order (an "IWO") won't be an effective
tool for recovery when your ex is self-employed or working in a predominately
cash industry, as there are just too many loopholes. If this is the reality,
it may make sense to petition the court for relief.
If your ex is failing to make support payments, you should consider filing
an Order to Show Cause for Contempt. A contempt proceeding is criminal
in nature, as you are asking the court to find your ex "guilty"
of failing to abide by court orders. Should your ex be found in contempt,
possible penalties include jail, community service, and/or a fine.
Your ex will be allowed legal representation in a contempt proceeding,
given the possible penalties. This should give you some indication as
to the seriousness of a contempt finding.
To establish contempt, you will need to prove that 1) your ex willfully
disobeyed the order to pay support, 2) your ex had knowledge of the court
order, and that 3) your ex was able to comply with the order when it was
disobeyed. You will need specific facts, a detailed payment log, and record
of any and all conversations you had with your ex relating to non- or
Think of a contempt proceeding as your last resort. If your spouse is continually
falling behind on, or simply ignoring, court orders, contempt may be your
only option to get the money you deserve.
Before initiating a contempt proceeding, you should allow an attorney to
evaluate your case. Sven Buncher, Senior Partner at The Buncher Law Corporation
is available for a free consultation, and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org