What Happens If My Ex Refuses To Pay Alimony?
Let’s begin first by defining what alimony is. Alimony is a court-ordered payment from one spouse to another for financial support of one’s spouse. It can be awarded:
- Temporarily during the divorce procedure,
- For a short amount of time after the divorce to allow the receiving spouse to get back on their feet financially,
- Or, it can last for many years or permanently depending on your specific situation.
It has been my experience in all the years of my practice in law that no ex-spouse is ever happy about having to pay alimony. However, if it has been awarded by the judge it must be paid.
What To Do
If your spouse is refusing to pay the court-ordered alimony you need to do two things.
- The first thing is you need to send them a letter demanding that he or she make the payment as was ordered by the court.
- Secondly, you need to file a motion with the court for contempt. Contempt for them violating the court-ordered, mandated, alimony support payment.
If after doing these two things your ex-spouse is still refusing to pay alimony, this can lead to:
- Having your spouse’s arrears, the money that he or she owes, reduced to judgment.
- Your spouse could have their checks garnished.
- Your spouse can have their property seized or sold in order to take that money and pay a lump sum of the alimony that they were behind on.
- If all this fails, it can ultimately lead to jail time.
I do not recommend violating a court order when it comes to issuing orders of alimony payments. If you feel circumstances have changed since your alimony was initially ordered, speak to an experienced family law attorney about possibly filing a motion for alimony modification.
If you are not receiving the alimony that was ordered, or if you’d like to attempt to modify your alimony, contact our office to speak with our experienced family law attorneys. Our attorneys will walk you through the options that apply to your specific situation. Our office can be reached at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling a consultation online.