Today was our contempt hearing and while I was getting ready, I re-read his responsive declaration to the charges against him. It was almost humorous– he didn’t address a single accusation. All he did was try and turn the spotlight on me. The entire packet of paperwork was incredibly bizarre. The “old me” would have defended myself. The “new me” felt nothing but pity because I can’t imagine the turmoil that takes place in the mind of a person with an incurable mental illness.
We arrived at the court house and I quickly spotted my X’s father. He makes my skin crawl and becomes creepier with every new wrinkle on his face. I didn’t see my X enter the courtroom and wondered if he was going to be a no-show. The Commissioner asked the courtroom attorneys if anyone needed a continuance. After they had each answered, the Commissioner asked if anyone else needed a continuance. I heard someone behind me (in the back of the courtroom) stand up and the next thing I knew, the Commissioner said, “No. I won’t be continuing your case”. I glanced back and it was my X.
We were called to the front and the Commissioner asked him if he had an attorney or if he needed a public defender. He asked for a public defender. The case is now on calendar for an arraignment on October 3, 2012. At that point, he will enter his plea. Contempt charges are very new to me so I walked in to the courtroom very unsure of what would happen.
What do I hope to accomplish from this? From what I’ve read, contempt charges can equate to five days in jail for each offense. There were nine out of the past twelve months that my X did not pay his child support obligations and I have substantial evidence to prove that he had the ability including:
- Maintaining a luxury $4,000 per month condo and his portion was $2,000 per month.
- Purchasing 2 brand new cars in a 12-month period of time.
- Hiring two attorneys during this 12-month period of time- one criminal and one family.
- A letter from Child Support Services in November 2011 confirming his employment yet he didn’t pay support for almost three months.
- An email from my X (dated 2/16/12) to someone that he was dating asking her to move into a home which he planned to rent for $3,500 per month. His exact words, “Personally, with my new position and my income proof I can afford any of these options below” and then listed multiple homes for rent. He didn’t pay a penny of support during that month.
- Declarations from witnesses discussing his $200 health club membership that he pays for in cash to avoid repercussions in court.
- Proof of drinking and alcohol purchases (including a DUI which was reduced to a wet & reckless).
- An email offering me $3,000 to drop the contempt charges.
I’ve been told that all I need to prove Contempt of Court is the following:
1. There was a court order. Check!
2. My X knew about the court order. Check!
3. My X had the ability to pay the ordered amount. Check!
4. My X didn’t pay the ordered amount. Check!
I am waiting to hear back from an attorney on how to subpoena a few additional items that would prove useful for our October 3rd court date. As always, I will keep you posted. If the only thing that comes of this is that my X knows I will not tolerate his failure to comply with orders than I will be satisfied.
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