Will my ex be found in contempt and go to jail?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Will my ex be found in contempt and go to jail?

I recently went to court Aug 28 for temporary orders because my ex hasn’t paid child support for several months and hasn’t paid for the reimbursements for sports,The judge ordered he get current and stay current by oct 1. My ex filed a modification on sept 20 exactly 1 month after the judge ordered the temporary orders,The modification is to suspend child support and reimbursement because he lost his job from getting terminated. Will the judge still find him in contempt or will she give him what he wants,he owes several thousand dollars?

Asked on October 1, 2018 under Family Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The judge will most likely not find him in contempt while he has a non-frivolous (basically, non-silly) modification request before the court, and while it's not at all certain it will be granted, it is not frivolous (not silly) to request a modifiction when you lose a job.
It is unlikely the judge will wholly suspend child support due to losing his job, but may suspend making the back payments, or stretch them out longer, while still requiring the new payments to be made as they come do. Much depends on the circumstances, such as:
1) Why was he terminated--his fault, or factors beyond his control?
2) What efforts can she show he has made to find new work, including a different type of job or field?
3) Given his age, health, education, experience, and his industry, how easy or hard is it likely to be to find a new job?
4) What financial shape is he in--can he afford to pay anything, or will making payments put him out on the street?
5) Etc.
Once the court decides what, if anything, to do about the modification, then if he does not do as ordered, it will return to contempt of court.

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