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Legal Review Screening Process for Civil Contempt

All available information is shared with the State’s Attorney, who does the legal review and determines whether to proceed with the contempt. The goal of the legal review is to determine:

  1. whether the non-payment was willful, that is, did the obligor have the ability to pay the ordered support during the contempt time period,
  2. whether the obligor has the present ability to purge the contempt, and
  3. whether the remedy of contempt should be used at this time.

The State’s Attorney reviews all available information and indicates whether to proceed with the contempt. The State’s Attorney also indicates his or her determination about the obligor’s past and current ability to pay. Evidence of the obligor’s income and spending habits may be based on information from responses to the Request for Information questionnaires, databases, social media, and other sources.

Legal Authority

See: Civil Contempt Legal Authority