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I have been paying temporary support to my wife , can I deduct money she owes me from my monthly check I send ?

Los Angeles, CA |

I have a stipulated agreement to pay monthly support to my wife. Our judgment is not final. I am also paying the monthly payments for 1000s of dollars in credit card debt. Can I deduct her half from my support payment?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Not unless you have a written agreement allowing you to do so. Unless the support order provides for offsets, you will have to wait to collect reimbursement items. If it is significant or if you are unable to pay both, file a Request for Order with the court asking her to pay her share or allowing the offset.

    Michael Schwerin, San Jose, California phone: 408-295-4232 email: schwerin@ix.netcom.com. Consultation fees, rates and retainers vary based on need and ability to pay.


  2. Unfortunately you cannot offset the credit card payment from your spousal support obligation without a court order. You may be entitled to reimbursement of payments you make of community property debt after you separated, but will likely be reserved as a trial issue. I am including links below regarding support and other common issues which typically occur in divorce cases. Good luck.

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button or "Best Answer" at the bottom of this answer. By answering this question, the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not intend to form an attorney-client relationship with the asking party. The answers posted on this website should not be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not make any representations about your family law matter, but rather, seeks to provide general information to the public about family-law related matters. You should consult with an attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case. Thank you.


  3. I agree with my colleagues. In addition to what they have suggested, you CAN pay less if your wife will "stipulate" to the offset. One way she may agree if she realizes you are able to ask for attorney's fees at the time you file your motion due to her refusal to settle the matter outside court--especially if your request is reasonable, e.g. you truly cannot afford to pay both spousal support and the $1000 in credit-card debt. (Don't forget that for every dollar you pay, 50 cents is your legal responsibility.)

    Many times, when parties work together in the spirit of cooperation, they can stipulate to many interim orders--the purpose of which is to, amongst other things, reduce the number of legal issues the court needs to resolve.

    PLEASE READ--before emailing, commenting or calling: As a rule, I do not respond to "comments" that are designed as follow-up questions to the originally-posted question. I specifically do this as to avoid creating any confusion to the originating author of the question and to prevent any attorney-client relationship from forming--as this is not the goal or intent of this attorney or the Avvo creators. Further, I am only licensed to practice law in the State of California; therefore, any information provided in this answer is intended for application in California. Second, the information provided in this answer is solely intended to serve as GENERAL INFORMATION, and, at most, to serve as a catalyst for discussion between you and an attorney. Under no circumstance, is this information provided in this "Answer" intended to be construed as legal advice--and is not to be considered legal advice for any purpose. If you wish legal advice, then it is recommended that you contact a licensed attorney in your area to discuss the particulars of your case. Only by engaging in a meaningful discussion with a licensed attorney, can an attorney then provide you with legal advice.

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