A San Francisco woman’s wages have been garnished after she refused to continue paying her ex-husband’s spousal support, order after their divorce. The judge declared that $3,300 would be garnished from the California fire chief’s pay each month.
The couple divorced in 2009 and now the woman owes more than $40,000 in past due spousal support. She claims that she stopped paying the amount because 14 months ago her husband drunkenly grabbed one of their sons and tried to choke him.
After this altercation, the man entered a plea of no contest to charges of child cruelty and endangerment and has since been serving his required sentence. He went to the court last week asking them to force his ex-wife to start paying spousal support.
California is a no fault divorce state. This means that, when it comes time to determine items like spousal support, the fault of one party or the other does not come into play. So, the claim made by the woman in this case that she stopped paying her spousal support because of her husband’s behavior may not be a legitimate claim, and therefore an unacceptable reason to stop paying support.
However, due to the potentially complicated nature of divorce proceedings, it is sometimes difficult for individuals to know what is acceptable and what is not. Divorces can often become messier than either of the parties would hope for. But, if and when issues do become messy, it is always helpful to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side. A divorce attorney will be familiar with California family laws and will be invaluable in making an already painful process as expeditious and easy as possible.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, “SF fire chief’s wages garnished – spousal support,” Phillip Matier & Andrew Ross, May 16, 2012