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Volume20
Year2012
TitleJail Time for Failure to Pay Spousal Support
Author(s)David Williams
First Page313
AbstractNeither the Family Code nor the Penal Code specifically provides that failure to pay post-divorce spousal support shall be punishable by imprisonment. But ?[d]isobedience of any lawful judgment, order, or process of the court? amounts to civil contempt. Contempt opens the door to the jail.
If you refuse to pay spousal support in spite of a lawful court order requiring you to do so, you can expect the court to set the tiger loose. The tiger?s teeth will tear into your financial holdings; its claws will send you off to jail. Clearly the best strategy would be to avoid a judgment imposing spousal support altogether; and the next best strategy would be to pay the bill as it comes due.