Can a Judge Force Payments When Sufficient Funds Are Not Met?

A judge can find a person in contempt and force them to make the payments (although it is difficult if they do not find any information proving you can make the payments) however the court must be placing you in the correct contempt.

As discussed in Roellig v. Roellig, 146 Wis.2d 652, 431 N.W.2d 759 (Ct. App. 1988),[1] a person may be held in contempt[2] of court for failure to pay money only where the failure to pay is willful and not the result of an inability to pay.

In the case Schroeder v. Schroeder, 100 Wis.2d 625, 302 N.W.2d 475 (1981)[3] the circuit court placed a husband in criminal contempt instead of civil contempt during a civil case. Due to this mistake, the husband was released and relieved of paying the remainder of the division property.

More details that would be necessary to know if the court put someone in the correct contempt include the reasons why they were put in contempt, what the order was and if they were sent to jail, how long and for why.


References: [1]Roellig v. Roellig (1989), [2]What it Means to be in Contempt of Court, [3]Schroeder v. Schroeder (1981)


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