Filing for divorce is a very emotionally and financially taxing experience. Not only does the divorce process affect either spouse, but children can also be greatly affected by the massive lifestyle change. When a married couple files for divorce, there may be need for either spouse to make spousal support payments. If either spouse fails to make spousal support payments on time, then he or she may face some serious consequences.
What is Spousal Support?
When a married couple decides to file for divorce, then the court may order one spouse to make payments to the other spouse each month. A court case must take place in order for a spouse to request spousal support. Once the court orders either spouse to pay spousal support to the other spouse, then those payments are mandatory until the court changes or ends spousal support.
Consequences for Falling Behind on Payments
If either spouse fails to make spousal support payments on time, then he or she must pay 10 percent interest per year on the balance that is due. By law, interest charges are added.
If the paying spouse owes spousal support that is past due, then the court may order the spouse to pay an amount over the monthly spousal support, which would go toward paying off the past-due amount. Even though the paying spouse is still making payments on the past-due amounts in installments, interest will still accrue.
If the court finds that the paying individual is financially able to pay spousal support to the other spouse, and is not making the payments, then he or she could face time in jail. Even though jail time is one of the many consequences of failing to make spousal support payments, this is an enforcement tool often used when other penalties have failed.
It is also possible to seek assistance in collecting on the spousal support order, if the paying spouse does not have the financial means to make payments on time. Local child support agencies may be able to help the paying spouse enforce the spousal support order along with the child support order, if applicable.
Call a San Jose Spousal Support Lawyer
If you are in the process of filing for divorce, and spousal support is ordered, it is very important to make your support payments in full and on time. At Dominion Law Group, LLP, we understand your questions and concerns and will take them into account when helping you win the best case results. For a free initial consultation, please call a Santa Clara County spousal support attorney at 408-288-5592 to get the help you deserve.