03 May What Happens if You Fail to Pay Child Support as Ruled by a California Court? The Scenario
Bubba Pallorine (not his real name) divorced his wife, Cathy, and as part of the agreement, he was to pay Cathy child support of $800 every month. Bubba is considered the non-custodial parent (NCP) but both parents are responsible for the welfare of the child or children.
Bubba was recently fired from his job for not showing up to work on time on multiple occasions. Cathy made a complaint when payments stopped coming and Bubba was called into court where he explained his situation and told them he thought he would have a new job within days. The court, in its leniency, gave him a month to begin catching up on the payments.
A month later, the deadline had passed for Bubba to meet those payments and he also did not show up to the court-mandated appearance. The judge put out a bench warrant on Bubba who had not been in communication with both his ex-wife to let her know what was happening, nor had he contacted the court. The bench warrant, in this case, is covered by California Penal Code § 978.5 for failure to appear in court as promised. He could be potentially charged with a misdemeanor and a fine.
As it turned out, Bubba was found in a hospital where he had been taken when he went into a diabetic coma about a week before he was due to appear in court. It was suspected that Bubba’s problem of being on time to work had been due to his then-undiagnosed diabetes which made him very tired and ill, as well as over-sleeping his alarm each morning.
The court decided that, based on the information provided by Bubba’s newly hired defense attorney, that time should be given for Bubba to recover, find a job, and report back to the court in two months. The attorney would be the liaison between all parties as to Bubba’s progress during this time.
For now, the court chose not to impose a fine or charge Bubba with a misdemeanor. However, Bubba would need to show proof that he was seeing a doctor for diabetes management and show his activities for applying to new jobs. Bubba would submit his evidence to the defense attorney, who would distribute it to the relevant parties.
As Cathy and the children had already moved to a new home, Bubba put up the family home for sale to begin making child support payments. Shortly before he had to attend the next court hearing, he was able to land a new job in construction management which would help stabilize his financial situation.
The amounts of child payment support that should have been paid, but were missed, were to be tacked onto the end date, past the time when the children turned 18 or based on other factors that might present themselves during this time. This ensured that the full amount of child support would be paid in total through the new end date.
California Child Support Laws
The welfare of any children in a California marriage where there is a divorce comes first before anything else. Most issues of child support are covered by the California Family Court system. When things go wrong, such as with Bubba’s situation, the case can move into the criminal court system without the attention of a good criminal defense attorney to solve the problems.
Get Legal Help to Avoid Future Problems
It is always wise to have a working relationship with an attorney when involved in an ongoing situation that could become problematic. If you have fallen behind on child support payments, have a bench warrant out for detention, or need advice on your situation, call us at once for a consultation. 619-234-2300