ContemptContempt – once a judge issues a final decree on your divorce, child support, alimony (spousal support), or child custody and visitation, you and your spouse are required to abide by the order.

If you or your spouse do not abide by the order, the other spouse may file a contempt motion, and the judge has the discretion to enforce the original terms of the divorce. The Judge has a variety of ways to enforce their order. Some of the enforcement options include:

  • Wage Reduction. The most common way a judge enforces their order is a wage deduction.  A wage deduction requires an employer to send a portion of the parent’s wages to a state agency then the state agency sends the money to the parent who is trying to enforce the court’s order.
  • Federal and State Tax Refunds. A judge may enforce their order by taking the federal and state tax refunds of those who are in contempt of their order.
  • Liens. The court may also place liens on property, such as real estate and automobiles.
  • Fines & Jail Term. A parent who has not complied with a court order may receive a fine or a jail term.
  • Drivers License and Professional License. A parent who has not paid support can lose his or her driver’s license and/or professional license.
  • Federal Law can be implicated in a contempt action. Under the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992, it is a federal crime to willfully fail to pay child support for a child who resides in another state if the past-due amount has been unpaid for over one year or exceeds $5,000. Punishments under the federal law can include fines and imprisonment.

It is important to remember, a parent may not reduce child support payments, even by agreement without a court order: The unpaid amounts will accumulate as a debt, even if a court later decides that there was a good reason for the reduction.

If you or your spouse are unable or unwilling to abide by your divorce decree it is a good idea to contact CJ to discuss your options. Contact CJ and the Remboldt Law Firm at 404-348-4081 to arrange your free telephone consultation.

If you have agreed on a divorce and all the divorce terms, an Uncontested Divorce Attorney can assist you in getting your divorce completed.    In the mean time, you may find the Georgia Child Support Worksheet helpful.  Also, if you are considering an uncontested divorce, you may find the Uncontested Divorce Worksheet helpful in moving forward with an uncontested divorce.