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What happens if I'm about 15 days late with spousal support/child support. I can't afford it for 2 more weeks.

Concord, CA |

It is a temporary order and my payments are approx. 65% of my take home pay. My check is due soon, but I won't be able to pay for about 14 days.

What will happen to me because of this? Are there ways to legally delay the payment?

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Attorney answers 1


Unfortunately, this is happening more and more in today's economy. Depending on what your communication skills are like with your ex, you may or may not be able to share this information with him/her and, hopefully, work out a temporary arrangement or agreement to modify when the payments are due. When these types of issues are decided by the court, it isn't always the most practical or workable arrangement. And even if you and your ex (or soon to be ex) agree on a modification, until the court signs off on it, making it the order, you are violating a court oder. Until the court changes it's order, you are at risk here. Being late once really isn't a huge deal, practically speaking. But being consistently late, or missing payments all together, will be used against you. You really need to figure out how you are going to make the payments, and make them on time. No judge likes his/her orders ignored or treated like they don't matter. If you want to spend time with your children, you need to follow those orders to the letter. Setting aside the legal part of it, this money is for your children - I don't think you want them feeling like you don't care about them or their other parent because they hear or see your ex complaining that you aren't helping them out. If you can work this out peacefully, you will see the benefits later on, both in and out of the court room. I strongly recommend that you visit my web site for some great resources. There is a program called "Sandcastles" that helps parents help their children in divorce. There is also a wonderful workshops and books for men and women. I recently met, online, a gentleman named Doug who went through a terrible divorce - at least, it started that way. He quickly learned that what he was doing, while he felt justified, was doing more harm to him and his relationship with his children than anything else. He changed, with the help of family and professionals, and now enjoys a healthy relationship with his kids. You can get more information on his journey at Although it is specific to a father's journey, the principles apply equally to women.

If you have any other questions, or if I can be of any help, please feel free to call or e-mail me. The information provided here is general in nature and is not specific to your individual case. It is not intended to be legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. You really should consult an attorney or attorney mediator to assist you through this difficult process.