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Contempt in Child Support: Dern if I Do, Dern if I Don't!

The story of a Houston, Texas man recently sentenced to 180 days in jail after overpaying his child support has caught the attention of many in social media and I have been asked to weigh in. A while back, Mr. Clifford Hall was ordered to pay an increase in child support which was to be deducted from his paycheck. The State of Texas was to notify his employer of the increase, but never notified the employer of the new Order and therefore, the new amount. As a result, Mr. Hall's child support payments did not reflect the new court ordered amount. This caused him to slowly fall into arrears. In December of 2013, Mr Hall appeared before a Texas judge, was held in contempt and ordered spend 180 days in jail.

Pandora's Box, the contempt that keeps on giving.

"Be careful what you ask for," could well be another title for tonight's installment. Every so often we are hired to defend a contempt case.  As we review the other side's contentions, we assess the Order or Agreement from which our client's duty arose and in it we often find a treasure trove of abuses wrought by the other party.  This is the classic situation of complaining of a mote in your ex's eye whilst ignoring the beam in your own.

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