Can They Put me in Jail for Not Paying Spousal or
Partner Support?

en español>

YES.  If you do not pay your spousal or partner support (either currently owed or arrears owed) you can be held in contempt of court and this can result in you being put in jail.

You have a right to say as a defense that you did not have the ability to pay any support.

  • However, you cannot make this claim just because you did not have any money - if you had the ability to have money.

  • You will have to show that you did not willfully refuse to seek and accept an available job you could have gotten because of your education, experience, and physical ability.

You have the right to be represented by an attorney throughout the court hearing to determine whether you are in contempt. \ If it is possible that you will be put in jail and you cannot afford an attorney, you should ask the court to appoint an attorney for you free of charge.

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