Held in contempt


#1

My wife and I separated in March of 2014. Due to a consent order I was no longer living in our home. We went through mediation and a separation agreement was drafted in June. According to this agreement she was given until September to refinance the house into her name and it would then be hers and was also given a $500 month distributive award for 5 years If she could not refinance I was to take possession and sell the house. I was to pay one half of the June mortgage which I did and she was responsible for July and August. She could not refinance the home and I took possession in September. She did not pay the mortgage for July and August totaling $3,000 and left other bills unpaid. I had to pay this to protect my credit and to keep the home from going into foreclosure. As a result I have been unable to pay her monthly distributive award for the last 5 months. She has now filed a motion to hold me in contempt for non payment. As I understand it she should also be in contempt for nonpayment of the mortgage. I can no longer afford an attorney and fear going to jail. The case has not yet been heard and I have liquidated assets to make back payments. Can I file a motion of my own without an attorney and should i ?? In a real pickle here…


#2

Yes, you certainly can represent yourself in this matter, and if she has not abided by the terms of your order or agreement, you should pursue the appropriate action against her. If your property settlement was included in a separation agreement, your (and your wife’s) remedy is to sue for breach of contract. Contempt is only an available means of enforcing the agreement if it was incorporated into a court order. If you plan to represent yourself, you may want to consider using our Rosen Online Service. This service only costs $199/month, allows access to a library of legal forms and access to an online attorney.