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Your Spouse Fails to Pay Your Alimony

What do you do when your spouse does not pay the alimony they are supposed to? 

Even though a court may have ordered your spouse to pay you alimony every month, you still might not get paid.  Sometimes, there is a reason your spouse has fallen behind in payments, maybe they lost their job or got sick.  Maybe, they just did not want to pay.

Regardless, there are things you can do when your spouse fails to pay court-ordered alimony. This article provides an overview of what you can do when your spouse fails to make payments.

If you can, you should try to find out why.  Did your spouse experience a reduction in income?  Is so, why?  Was it illness or injury?  Was it job loss? If your spouse is truly unable to make alimony payments, you might consider working out an agreement with him which suspends or reduces the alimony until your spouse is again able to work. However, be sure that if the payments don’t start again, your spouse knows you’re prepared to go to court. You should consider hiring an attorney to draft the agreement to make sure that your rights are fully protected.

On the other hand, if your spouse is simply trying to avoid paying you despite your agreement, you’ll have to go back to court for help. You will need to file legal paperwork with the court asking a judge to order your spouse to make the payments that are overdue and to keep up with future payments.  

If you do go to court, it would benefit you to consult with an experienced family law attorney.  He or she will have experience in drafting persuasive legal motions in representing your interests in court.

Court Remedies

Judges dislike violations of their orders.  When paying spouses fail to pay alimony that has been ordered by a court, they are violating a court order. Courts have many remedies in terms of punishments or fines they can impose on spouses who have disobeyed their orders. For example, a judge may order that the delinquent spouse’s personal financial estate be confiscated and applied toward alimony if the judge feels this is just and reasonable.  This includes the rents and profits from any real estate.

Or, he may order fines, jail time or impose income withholding.  A judge could also award you a portion of your spouse’s bank accounts or other assets. You may be entitled to attorney’s fees. 

Enforcing alimony is not easy to do yourself, but if you contact a family law attorney, you may be able to get what you deserve.

 

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