ERIC Number: ED285087
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Use of Contempt to Enforce Child-Support Orders in North Carolina. Special Series No. 1.
Ennis, Trudy Allen; Mason, Janet
In North Carolina the most common procedure for enforcing civil orders for the payment of child support is a contempt proceeding. The distinctions between civil and criminal contempt include different purposes of the contempt proceedings, different procedures that must be followed, and different consequences of a finding of contempt. Criminal contempt punishes a parent for past wrongful failure to pay support as ordered when he was able to do so; civil contempt forces a parent who is able to pay support to comply with a child support order. Three issues must be considered as they relate to civil contempt. First, the court must determine the contemnor's ability to pay by considering the parent's property and financial condition, assets and liabilities, ability and opportunity to work, and present income compared with income at the time of the original order. Secondly, for a finding of civil contempt, the failure to comply with an order must be judged to be an act of willful behavior. Finally, the essential issues of the burden of producing evidence and the burden of proof in civil contempt proceedings must be clarified. (Ten guidelines are included for ensuring fair hearings and minimizing the possibility that contempt orders will be reversed on appeal.) (NB)
Descriptors: Childhood Needs, Compliance (Legal), Court Litigation, Economic Status, Financial Problems, Financial Support, Parent Responsibility
Institute of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Knapp Building 059A, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 ($2.50; $1.50 for 100 or more copies).
Publication Type: Reports - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: North Carolina Univ., Chapel Hill. Institute of Government.
Identifiers: Child Support; North Carolina