Last time, we discussed child support/visitation contempt and enforcement suits from the point-of-view of the filing party. This time we will present the other perspective.
If you are served with this type of suit, first of all, remain calm. DO NOT call, email or write your ex in anger. This can come back to haunt you later on.
Secondly, read the suit and the allegations very carefully. Do they have ANY merit at all? Go through each allegation one at a time, carefully. Make a separate list with your response to each allegation.
If you have evidence that the allegations are untrue, get your proof together. Proof of child support that you have paid would include a print-out from the Texas Attorney General Child Support Division and cancelled checks. . Depending on the allegations, you may also need to gather proof of payment of medical bills or insurance premiums, copies of insurance policies, proof of delivery of certified mail or email delivery confirmation.
For disputes involving visitation, calendars, diaries, dated photos and other evidence may be helpful.
Although it is difficult to keep emotions out of the situation, don’t let your emotions make the situation worse. You do not want to engage in a bitter fight, which can be expensive, upsetting (especially to the children) and bring up a lot of old emotional baggage.
Be sure to respond properly and on time by filing a proper answer. DO NOT IGNORE the suit. If you do, a judgment can be taken against you.
Read all the papers that are included. The citation will tell you when your response is due and there may be additional papers which give you information about the scheduling of the case or state a requirement for mediation.
A child support attorney can assist you with understanding the law relating to enforcement and contempt actions, can defend you in the suit and help you understand your legal rights.