It is a crime if a court of competent jurisdiction has awarded spousal support to one party if the other party basically tries to leave the state without paying that spousal support award. In other words, shows a clear intent to disobey the court's order, then that person can be charged with a crime, arrested and prosecuted.
So, if you're charged with failure to pay spousal support and you have a criminal appearance pending, you should definitely get a criminal defense attorney who has handled these cases in Los Angeles County and knows how to deal with a Penal Code §270.6 violation, because failing to pay spousal support is something that judges and prosecutors take very seriously and will attempt to put the person in jail, take away their rights to drive a car and all sorts of other things in order to try to make them pay spousal support.
Protection of Children
Basically, the policy behind these criminal laws related to spousal support cases is to protect children. They want people who bring children in the world to take care of them and pay for them. They certainly understand that people get divorced or separated or are never even married in the first place and they have children. The bottom line though is if you're a parent of a child you have a responsibility to take care of that child. Both to care for the child and also financially. So, any parent has the right to have parental rights to the child, but also that parent has the responsibility to take care of the child and to support the child.
The bottom line is that there are always two sides to a story and sometimes one of the parties – one of the parents – is not being reasonable – has a child and will not let the other person see the child, and of course, they want spousal support. Everybody is entitled to rights – both parties and the child. The bottom line is as long as you take care of your child, pay spousal support, are not abusive to anyone, then you certainly have parental rights as it relates to that child and you can take the other party to court and make sure you assert those parental rights.
But if you don't take care of the child and don't pay for the child – that is clearly your child through DNA testing or otherwise – then you are going to be held responsible for that. You're going to be ordered to pay it and if you don't pay it and refuse to pay it, then you can be criminally prosecuted.
Develop a Defense Strategy
What I really try to do if you're charged with a failure to pay spousal support and they're using Penal Code §270.6 to prosecute you – is try to get your side of the story across to the judge because there's always another side of the story and sometimes the police will only get one version of the story. They don't investigate what the other part of the story is that relates to the failure to pay spousal support.
So, once we get your version of events and your story across to the judge, then we're going to start to figure out okay, what you can do regarding this spousal support. Can you pay it? Can you pay parts of it? Can you make monthly payments? There's a whole formula that goes into figuring out whether you're going to have to pay spousal support – and if you do have to pay spousal support, how much it is going to be. So, that's what your attorney has to help you help you with.
So, if you've got a failure to pay spousal support case pending in one of the Los Angeles courthouses, it's incumbent upon you to get a good lawyer who is local to the courthouse, knows how to deal with these types of cases, knows all the facts and circumstances surrounding your situation with the child and the other parent and can really make a solid argument for you to make sure that you're treated fairly and get you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.
It's not right that you should be looking at jail time, fines, probation and the loss of your driver's license when, if it's handled the right way, the case can be taken care of. You can be made whole again. You can have your parental rights restored if they have been taken away from you. So, make the call today and we will get this case moving in the right direction.
For more information on Failure To Pay Spousal Support, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (213) 542-0979 today.