Enforcement of California Spousal Support Orders
Enforcing Spousal Support Orders
Spousal support orders, just like child support orders, are not self-enforcing. If one party fails to pay court-ordered spousal support, it is up to the other party or, if the case has been assigned to the department of child support services, for the government, to enforce that order.
Typically, enforcement of an existing spousal support order is done though filing an affidavit citing sufficient facts to support a charge of contempt. If the court finds that accused party is guilty of contempt of contempt, the court can order that party to serve up to five days in jail and pay fines for each finding of contempt. In contempt cases for failing to obey spousal support orders, each month of missed payments is considered a separate ground for contempt. In cases where a party is found guilty of missing several months of payments, the amount of possible jail time can be significant.
One difference between child support orders and spousal support orders is that a contempt proceeding cannot be brought against a party obligated to pay spousal support for failing to make adequate efforts to find work in order to pay spousal support. Such an order has been held by the courts to constitute involuntary servitude.
Sometimes enforcement of an existing spousal support order will be assigned to the department of child support services. This government agency has various tools to enforce payment of spousal support and collection of spousal support arrearages, including wage garnishments, levying bank accounts and property, revocation of the parent’s California driver’s license or professional licenses.
Whether you need to enforce an existing spousal support order, or find yourself the target of an enforcement action, our experienced spousal support attorneys can provide you the aggressive and skillful representation you need.
- Contact Us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your spousal support case.