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Actor charged with contempt for failing to pay child support

Actor Skeet Ulrich may be familiar to some Colorado fans of the Law & Order TV franchise. Ulrich played a detective in the spinoff series Law & Order: LA, a fictional look at the legal system from the viewpoint of police and prosecutors. Now Ulrich finds himself up against the real legal system: he was recently charged with contempt of court for failure to pay child support for his two children. A hearing is scheduled for late February.

Ulrich and his ex-wife, British actress Georgina Cates, were divorced in 2005. Their two children are twins, born in 2001. The ex-couple share custody of the children. According to news reports, Ulrich owes just under $285,000 in delinquent payments.

In most states, including Colorado, child support obligations are set out in a court order. Disobeying a court order, including a child support order, can lead to a contempt of court charge.

Colorado uses presumptive child support guidelines in setting the amount of support that is owed. The monthly payment is arrived at based on the parent's gross monthly income. If that income goes down, the parent can request a modification of the payment obligation. Colorado courts will consider a modification if there has been a substantial and continuing change in the parent's economic circumstances. If, after applying the child support guidelines to the lowered income level, the child support payment goes down by less than ten percent, the court will not consider the change to be substantial and continuing.

A person facing an economic change that renders a child support obligation no longer feasible should petition the court for a modification. An experienced child support attorney can help review the financial data and present it to the court. The worst thing a parent in this situation can do is simply stop paying.

Source: The Inquisitr, "Skeet Ulrich Charged With Contempt For Not Paying Child Support," Tayla Holman, Jan. 8, 2013

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