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Dad not in contempt for failure to pay full support

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The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed a man was not in contempt for failing to pay child support ordered by a Florida court even though the Indiana trial court enforced his obligation for less than the amount ordered in Florida.

Suzanne Hamilton appealed the Indiana trial court order in In Re the Marriage of: Suzanne Hebert Hamilton v. Richard Wayne Hamilton, No. 82A01-0804-CV-151, arguing the trial court effectively modified the Florida support order by requiring Richard Hamilton to only pay $150 a week instead of the nearly $1,500 a month as required under the Florida court order. She also believed the trial court erred by not finding Richard in contempt and requiring him to serve jail time.

Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, Florida maintains exclusive jurisdiction to modify the Hamiltons' support order, wrote Judge Nancy Vaidik, with Indiana only able to enforce the order as the responding state. The Indiana trial court had discretion under the act to craft an enforcement mechanism to encourage Richard, who had relocated to Evansville after the divorce, to comply with the Florida order. The act also allows Indiana to determine the manner of compliance with the order.

The decision by the Indiana trial court to allow Richard to pay Suzanne $1,000, find full-time employment, and give Suzanne $150 a week or else he would be ordered to serve the 170-day sentence ordered by the Florida court, is a permissible enforcement order, wrote Judge Vaidik. The Indiana trial court didn't suspend Richard's monthly child support obligation, and every month he doesn't pay the full amount, his arrearage will grow. Also, after hearing evidence of Richard's employment and other circumstances, the trial court required him to pay the purge amount, find a job, and execute a wage assignment.

The Indiana trial court was correct in not finding Richard in contempt for failing to pay his full child support obligation and sometimes missing the required $150 payments to Suzanne, because the record shows Richard did everything required by the Indiana trial court to avoid being found in contempt, wrote Judge Vaidik.

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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