Under California law, a person who is party to a divorce has to keep paying the mortgage. There is an automatic order that comes into effect upon filing. But what happens when a temporary child support or spousal support order comes into effect that makes it impossible? The answer is not a great one, and it is one of the absurd realities that people who get divorced face: most people have to stop paying your mortgage. Ridiculous, right? While I am not advising you to not meet your obligations, failing to pay support can land you in jail. Technically, failing to pay the mortgage can land you in jail, so what do you do? The procedure when one person fails to fulfill a court order is the other party asks for the violator to be charged with contempt. The key, of course, is that in order to be held in contempt, you have to have the ability to obey the order. If you pay $1,500 a month in rent, then a $2000 a month mortgage payment, and your income is $4500 a month, that leaves you $1,000 a month live on, which is great if you don’t need to pay rent, buy food, or make insurance payments, right? Welcome to the land of absurdity known as family court. What you are left with is a choice as to which order to violate. Most people (and I can’t advise you) would be wise to choose not paying the mortgage, since that usually lands you in less hot water. Most Judges will frankly by understanding of your predicament, so that should give you some comfort.