Won't Pay, or Can't Pay: An Analysis of Contempt as a Remedy for Child Support Arrearages owed by Low-Income Obligors
Allen, Brian W.
Washington and Lee University, Shepherd Poverty Program
Child support -- Law and legislation
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Brian W. Allen is a member of the Class of 2016 of Washington and Lee University School of Law.Capstone; [FULL-TEXT RESTRICTED TO WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY LOGIN]This paper investigates contempt as a remedy for child support arrearages. The thrust of the author's argument is this: while contempt is a perfectly acceptable remedy when the contemnor has the ability to pay, it cannot (and does not) work if the obligor has little to no income. Fortunately, there are viable alternatives to contempt currently being experimentally and actively used by various states and jurisdictions. These alternatives range from creating more workable support orders, to restructuring debt, to using alternative means to keep the matter out of the courts entirely.