What is considered a “timely” spousal support payment?

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What is considered a “timely” spousal support payment?

I am ordered to pay monthly spousal support “payable on the first of each month” and I mail a check just before the end of the proceeding month. I have no way of knowing how fast the mail is delivered and want to know what a “timely” payment would be. The check usually clears my bank by the 7th of the month.

Asked on December 28, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

"Payable on" typically means that the payment is *received* on the day indicated. Thus, if support is payable on the first, the check should be in your ex-spouse's hands on the first of the month. It is not your issue or concern how long after that it takes for the bank to clear the check, unless you do something to delay clearing (insufficient funds; post-dated; put a hold or stop payment on the check; etc.); your obligation would be discharged by getting it to your ex-spouse on the first, which probably means mailing it at least three days prior. This doesn't mean your ex-spouse will take action if the check is a day or two late, just that you will technically be in violaton if that happens.


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