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Question about contempt charges....

BuggiesMom's picture

Have any of you ever filed contempt charges and actually had something happen? Our BM recently moved to a city an hour and a half away (without telling us she was going to do so)and enrolled the kids in school there. We immediately filed with the court to keep the kids in school here; where they have gone their whole lives, where our family that helps take care of them after school while we work is and where dance lessons have been for pretty much their whole lives not to mention basketball. We tried the mediation meeting and at that meeting, at the court house, she went bonkers. She m-f'd HER attorney, his attorney and anyone else within range. She completely went off the deep end. She told everyone that they were HER children that SHE gave birth to and they would go to school where SHE wanted them to. THAT day, the Magistrate had the Circuit Court Judge sign an "ex parte" (emergency order)stating that the children were going to school where they always have, pending his decision (which was supposedly made yesterday). Well, school starts this Thursday and we found out last week that she has planned to take them OUT OF THE COUNTRY this week-end and plans to leave Thursday morning, which means they will miss their 1st two days of Jr. High. They are bummed, to say the least. Well, one of them is (twins) the other one says she'll do whatever just to make her Mom happy. On Friday we filed another ex-parte request against her, asking that the Judge file an injunction, ordering her NOT to take them out of the country and then we filed a contempt charge against her for disregarding the Judges ruling for the children to go to school here. Through this whole drawn out proceeding, which has gone on for 18 mos. she has been in contempt about 5 or 6 times and each time, the Magistrate has let her go with a little smack on the hand. I would like to think that now that she is in contempt over a Circuit Court Judges ruling that there will be some type of punishment. Then again, I want her to get hit by a bus so I'm praying for the worst. Have any of you ever dealt with the "contempt drama" and if so....what happened?

ittakestwo's picture

There were several occasions that we asked about filing contempt charges but we were ALWAYS advised against it. Basically, the cost and time involved vs what actually happens... he would always point out you can spend X amount of dollars for me to file a contempt charge the judge will say "BM you can't do that" and for what? To do it all over again? *shrug*

Could make a difference where you are I guess. But everytime we weighed out the pros/cons we decided it simply wasn't worth it.

It is what it is...

luvdagirl's picture

Our attorney says bluntly that we can/ should do it even if it is hand slapping because the judge will realize how stupid BMs games are and he was right- now the judge does treat us as the responsible party and look at her more like a nuicense.

BuggiesMom's picture

whether you are defying a Magistrates order or a Circuit Court judges order? Up until now, it has been the Magistrate. This time, she is going against the Circuit Court Judges order. I think, even if we file the injunction and she is served that she will still get on a plane come Thursday morning. Unfortunately, she's gotten away with being in contempt this long, why wouldn't she this time? I'm not sure why it's even an option (to file the contempt charge) if nothing ever happens once it's done. At this point, I feel like she could go take a crap on the steps of the courthouse and it wouldn't matter......But yeah, my only hope is that her history (7 contempts) will lead the Judge to decide it's time she paid the piper or it will at least sway his decision in his final ruling.

everythinghappens4areason's picture

I would be curious to know how you make out with this. A lawyer we consulted said it depends on how severe the issue is on whether the contempt order will stand (they get up to 30 days in jail or a $10000 fine). Personally I doubt they would do that in our case....hubby has joint custody but they live with BM primarily. Can't see them taking money from the kids mouths or taking their mom away and putting her in jail for a few days interest of the child ya know....only it never seems to be in the best interest of the child. We have plenty of things to have her charged with contempt, but we have always held off not knowing if it is enough. The last thing we want to do is piss the judge off so he sides with her.


BuggiesMom's picture

The Judge signed the order yesterday (I got on the County website and looked up their case and saw it had been filed) but even so, she will take them on Thursday. This woman just does not care. She is a defiant, belligerent person that is out to prove herself to not only him but the court system as well. I'm not sure what the final ruling is in his case but his attorney says she should have it today or first thing tomorrow. I'll let you know the should be interesting.

OldTimer's picture

And yes, BM DID get in trouble, reamed by the judge, but not in the same degree that a father would get into trouble, sadly. It is a biased system, I'm afraid... but in our case, yes, BM got REAMED by the judge for some things that she pulled.

Yes, many attorneys may argue against it... sadly. BUT you have look at it another way. Each time it happens, and yes, BM only gets a slap on the wrist, and yes you're spending X amount of money... it's a record, history of events, that gets laid out before you. If you're in it for the long haul, eventually the judges see a pattern- and may take more serious action because this is the up tenth time he's had to deal with ms-so-and-so that isn't heeding to his orders. And in essence, they themselves, the judge, get irritated with the lack of respect for the law.

Therefore, yes, sadly you may not get the answers you're looking for the first few times, but you're setting a paper trail, history record of BM's tendencies of bad behavior... think about it that way.

Wink StepMom

Man has the intelligence to change his life,
Sometimes, he just fails to use it...

Tired2's picture

We filed a contempt case against DH's ex and the judge told our attorneys that "a breach of contract is a breach of contract". The judge advised that we "come to an agreement" or she would hear the case and decide and she could possibly lose custody. (they have joint with her as primary) In the agreement we came to we got his child support lowered by $100 per month and more days each month...making the split exactly 50/50. She agreed willingly to this since she stood to possibly lose her paycheck I mean custody altogether. I would say if your attorney says don't do it...find another that isn't scared to go to court. If nothing else make the court so sick of seeing her in contempt they finally do something about it.

Good luck!! Keep us posted!

Good friends are like don't always see them, but you know they are always there.

Cruella's picture

We go to court soon. BM was caught red handed with lying to the court. We will see what will happen.

BuggiesMom's picture

Left this morning....HAD the balls to expect him to call the school to let them know the kids weren't going to be there!!! I told him he'd be dead if he does not to mention, at the contempt hearing if it comes up that he called the school to asked for them to be excused, it would be like he was condoning the abscence.....One of the girls kept calling us last night; bugging us about getting her books and homework that she might have the first 2 days....just worried herself sick! That's the kind of shit that makes me wish this woman ill. Her sorry ass attorney must have re-iterated 100 times in their divorce papers how she "ALWAYS does what is in the best interest of the kids." Make me puke!!!

The 18th is the contempt court date....

We'll see what happens....Cruella, make sure you let me know what happens with yours!!!

Cruella's picture

Ours is a modification case but she cleary perjured herself. I am dying to see what the Judge will do.

BuggiesMom's picture

Life in prison with her cell-mate, Rebutcha.....


WickedStepMama's picture

We have a contempt hearing coming up next month with my husband's ex ~ she was supposed to start paying child support June 1st on their youngest, who we have primary custody of (she's 15) and start paying back almost $15,000 in child support he overpaid after their older kids started college. She hasn't sent in one dime. It will be interesting to see what the Magistrate has to say.........

Anne Summers's picture

In your particular case it sounds as though you have the ability to file a warrant for the arrest of the BM. If you have accurate court documentation showing she is supposed to pay the back CS of $15K by a certain date PLUS have started current CS on 06-01-09 then you may have grounds to obtain a warrant.

Also, if I were you, I would definitely ask for daily compound interest on ALL back CS. This will throw the BM into more debt owed to you on a faster rate. Considering the fact that she seems to not want to pay you at all then this will help you obtain a warrant faster.

I wish you all the luck!

Take care,

Sometimes you have to test the limits to show you're not a doormat.

luvdagirl's picture

We are calling to get the paperwork turned in for SD to get third party visitation rights w/ half brother and contempt for BM treating SD and things she did, And not trying to pay on any med. bills she has been presented with and just blew off.Supposedly BM is finally mailing pmt. on previous court order- not holding breath.Good luck to all!

There is no reaon where logic does not exist

BuggiesMom's picture

For November 8th. I doubt that it will be pretty. She called him up the day before and, in her beautiful stupidity, says to him, "What's this hearing "thing" about?" To which he replied, "Duh...your took the kids to Puerto Rico?" Her response? "Well, you KNEW we were going!!" Then the begging commenced and she whined and cried that she had no money to pay her attorney, was behind in paying his fees and that he wanted 5 grand to represent her in a contempt hearing that she didn't have because HE left her high and dry. He told her "sorry about your luck"....ironically, she's been pissy at him since then!

I'll keep ya posted.....

Cruella's picture

We went to court 2 weeks ago and the verdict still hasn't come back from the Circuit court. I guess that is a good thing since no would be easier to type. This is for a modification and we brought solid proof that BM lied about what she made the last time we went to court. She stated when CS was originally ordered that she made half of what she actually was making and when we received her tax forms there was the proof in black and white. Let see what the courts do.

oscarsmama's picture

I was pretty proud when my husband gained custody of his two boys last May 08. Of course, the mother didn't want to pay child support and we agreed she didn't have to because she doesn't have anything anyway. However, we wanted to claim the boys on our taxes and she agreed. We have a court order stating we can claim them but she claimed them knowing information she entered on her taxes was false............Seriously, what are the penalties for her doing this? Anyone know.

Anne Summers's picture

Obtain a copy of the IRS Form 1040X, which is an amendment to the current taxes filed. The IRS will help you, via phone, on how to fill out this form. Attach a copy of current court order stating that you can claim SK(s), with particular clause highlighted and already turned to this section.

After you mail the completed form and copy of court order (together) it will take approximately eight to twelve weeks to receive a reply. In our case it was in the form of a check. Wink

This is the simpliest and most efficient way to obtain your money and ignore the BM completely. One HUGE plus is that the IRS will handle BM for you. How grand is that for you guys?!? Biggrin

I hope this helps!

Take care,

Sometimes you have to test the limits to show you're not a doormat.

Rags's picture

it a few times by the Family Court idiots in the goofy black robes.

I have refused to provide information on my income since as the Black Robed Dip Shits like to say when I ask to not be excluded from the court room when BioDad moves to have witnesses excluded "you (I) are not a party to the case". At that point I respond "fine then my money is not a party to the case either right?" Judge: "You must provide income information as ordered" Rags: "I thought you said I was not a party to the case" Judge: "That is correct, you are not a party to the case" Rags: "Fine, then you don't need to know anything about my income" Judge: "Submit you income information" Rags: "I can't do that your Honor, I am not a party to the case. If I am not a party to case I can't provide any information or testimony" Judge: "You are on your Wife's witness list". Rags: "Not any more your Honor, you just told me I am not a party to the case" Judge: "If you do not immediately provide your income information I may hold you contempt" Rags: "So I am a party to the case?" Judge: "If you say one more word you will be held in contempt" Rags: "Dead Silence ................" Judge: "Mr Rags, do you intend to provide the information on your income that I have ordered you to provide" Rags "Dead Silence ........................." Judge: "If you do not immediately provide the information I will hold you in contempt" Rags: I flick fingers in the direction of the manila envelope that I placed on the edge of the Bench when I first took the stand while remaining silent Judge: "Answer my question or I will hold you in contempt" Rags: "Your Honor, now I am in a catch 22 because you told me if I said one more word I would be held in contempt, now you threatening me with contempt if I do not speak?" Judge: "Does this envelope contain your income information" Rags: "Yes your honor it has been by your hand since I took the stand" Judge: "Get the hell out of my court room" ...............

I have had this basic conversation with two judges during multiple hearings. It got to the point that the last time the judge said "Don't say a word other than to answer a direct questions from either attorney and hand me your income information immediately" At which point I just got a bit old eat shit you ignorant bottom 10%er look on my face and dropped the envelope on the bench and sat there giving the moron in the black robe my most contemptible you-can't-possibly-be-this-stupid grin.

I really do detest these bottom 10%er family law morons. Attorneys, judges and clerks included. All of them I have interfaced with but one (our current kick ass shark attorney) have been dip shits at best and total wastes of skin at worst.

I recommend that you find an attorney that will commit to do what you want done and that you do not permit the usual non action "this is risky you should work it out with the other parent" bull shit. If your attorney says anything but "what to you want done?, how important is it to you because it could be expensive?, are you doing this for the kid or to screw the X?, and will you consider my recommendations if I believe that what you asking for is unreasonable or not possible? FIRE THEM AND FIND ONE WITH AT LEAST HALF A BRAIN instead of the usual bottom 10%er family law losers.

Just my thoughts of course.

Good luck and best regards

Success is rarely final. Failure is rarely fatal. It is character, courage and consistency of effort that count. Vince Lombardi (with some minor Rags modifications) To each according to their performance, screw Karl Marx. (Rags)