10/02/2006 at 03:55 PM EDT
A judge in Massachusetts added to Bobby Brown's troubles on Monday, ordering him arrested if he steps foot in the state, after Brown skipped a court hearing over delinquent child-support payments to Kim Ward, the mother of two of his children.
In explaining his absence in court, Brown's lawyer, Phaedra Parks, told the judge it was a "very difficult time" for Brown, whose wife, Whitney Houston, is divorcing
him – but the judge said that was no excuse, the Associated Press reports.
"The media is very aware of this very public divorce that's going on right now," Parks told Judge Paula Carey, who shot back: "Whether or not he's going through a divorce doesn't negate the fact that he still owes child support relative to his two children that he had prior to his marriage," she said.
Ward claims that Brown currently owes two months' support, or $11,000.
Brown, 37, has a history of legal problems involving child-support payments to Ward. In June 2005
and June 2004 he faced arrest after missing payments; in both cases he finally paid up. He was jailed for a day in March 2004 after missing several payments, which he also eventually made.
Houston, 43, filed for legal separation
from Brown last month. They were married for 14 years and have one daughter, Bobbi Kristina, 13. Brown told PEOPLE last month, "I'm really saddened by the whole situation."