As with any problem or issue, pretending that the problem does not exist or will eventually go away is a terrible idea. Now, when it comes to a case or issue of contempt against you regarding unmet child support dues, pretending like your obligations and the contempt case do not exist is disastrous. Running away from these issues could result in you losing your right to argue for child support payment terms moving forward and having your wages garnished. This could get even worse and you could end up spending time in jail. It is important that you understand the importance of honoring your child support payments to avoid getting yourself into trouble.
In a recent case, Anthony was involved in a case of back-owed child support payments. He was a professional baseball player who had a child with Malena, who was from Howard county. Back in 2016, Anthony had promised to pay Malena the amount of $5,650 in child support. However, Anthony was not able to pay his dues. In 2019, he owed more than $200,000 in back child support. In the middle of 2019, Malena sent Anthony a text message telling him of the court action she was going to file. Anthony replied via text message saying his address was his uncle’s home. One month later, Malena filed a petition asking the court to find Anthony in contempt. A copy of Malena’s summons and petition was sent to the uncle’s home, although it was Anthony’s mother who received the documents.
The deadline for the filing of a response or answer came and expired with nothing from Anthony’s side. When the 2019 hearing came, Anthony also did not participate. Anthony was then found by the judge to be in contempt and ordered him to pay Malena $30,000 per month until he satisfied what he owed in child support back-payments. When the court set another hearing, in which Anthony was needed to prove that he was meeting his payments or making a case of an argument that payment term was impossible or difficult, Anthony once again failed to participate. Not long after, Malena sought a court order involving the federal authorities to take away Anthony’s passport. Since Anthony was earning his livelihood as a baseball player overseas, he responded quickly. He argued that although he used his uncle’s home as a mailing address, he stated that he did not live there. He emphasized that he was not served proper notice of the case regarding contempt against him.
Regardless of Anthony’s argument, the judge denied his plea without holding a hearing. The appeals court also supported the trial judge’s ruling. There simply was no legal cause or basis to reverse or throw out the decision of the trial court. Thus, he needed to pay the $30,000 monthly or lose his passport, which will disable him from participating in international baseball games.
If you are faced with legal problems, the best way to deal with it is to face it with the help and support of a skilled legal counsel. When talking about the repercussions of ignoring legal issues, with compromising your freedom on top of the line, you will need the best legal counsel there is. To schedule a consultation with one of our Maryland family law attorneys, contact us here.