My attorney has filed Contempt of Court on my child's father for non-payment of child support but we are unable to serve him because he always sends his grandparents to pick up my son. He will not tell me where he lives only provides a mailing address to receive mail. He is not showing up to pick up my son because he knows I am trying to have him served. Just when the processor is fixing to have him served at work, he quits that job.( this has been going on for 2 years now) What can I do?
2 Answers from Attorneys
[A] Try Alternative Service
(1) Have your process server submit to your attorney an affidavit of attempted service. The process server will know what this is and how to do it.
(2) Ask your attorney to file a TRCP Rule 106(b) Motion for Alternative Service stating that service on the grand parents will accomplish service on the deadbeat. Get a 106(b) order from the court and serve the grandparents.
[B] Private Investigator
Hire a private investigator to follow the grandparents to wherever they take the child. Note that some process servers are also PIs, so they can follow the grandparents and then serve the deadbeat.
[C] Join the Grandparents
Join the grandparents into the suit as co-respondents/co-conspirators. Once they have been brought into the suit, depose them and ask them directly where their son lives or where he can be found. Let the grandparents know that you are seeking civil penalties against them for conspiring with their son to avoid child support.
[D] Non-Contempt Proceedings
Consider non-suiting the enforcement matter for now. File a motion to modify the parent child relationship so that you don't have to turn your child over to anybody if you don't know where the father is living. You have a right to know where your child is going. A court cannot find him in contempt in a modification action, therefore you can serve him by TRCP Rule 109 or 109a. (You can't effectively use rules 109 or 109a in a contempt proceeding.) If he fails to respond after service, default him and cut off his time with the child until he reveals his whereabouts.
You have to stay after this guy. He is really likely to go to jail if you can get his story of avoiding service and payment in front of the judge. Not that jail solves your problems, but if he's bawling and squalling from jail, his mom and dad might pay the arrearage to get him out. And that would help you a lot.
Anyway, these are some ideas for ending this cat-and-mouse game with him.
You have an attorney, and this question needs to be addressed to your attorney. It is not appropriate for another attorney to comment when a person is represented. There are options available, and may require additional expense and effort. Good luck.
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