If your spouse stopped paying alimony, you are probably in a difficult financial position. Thankfully, family courts take these matters rather seriously. Before you take legal action, however, find out why your former spouse stopped making payments. If he or she lost a job or sustained a severe injury, a judge might suspend or temporarily reduce payments. On the other hand, if your ex simply stopped making payments because he or she resents having to support you, the court can enforce the order and ensure you receive the money you are owed.
Collecting Unpaid Alimony
If your former spouse failed to pay alimony or did not pay the full amount, properly document it. You will need to show the court that your spouse did not comply with the court order and explain how it affected you. If your ex continues to refuse to make alimony payments, he or she will likely be in contempt of court for failing to obey the court order. In this case, your former spouse might face steep fines and jail time, depending on how many payments were missed.
There are a few different methods for collecting alimony, though wage withholding is typically the most common one. When a judge issues a wage withholding order, the amount of alimony owed is taken from the paying spouse’s paycheck. When this type of order is in place, it will continue as long as support is owed. Even if your former spouse changes jobs, the order will remain. If your former spouse is earning workers’ compensation or unemployment benefits, income can be withheld from this as well.
Another method for collecting unpaid alimony is to go through mediation. You and your former spouse can sit down with a mediator and reach an agreement on how to address the unpaid alimony and if future payments need to be reduced. Whichever method you choose to pursue, there is no doubt the process is complex and requires skilled legal assistance. If your spouse is substantially behind on payments, you probably cannot afford any more delays, so hire an experienced attorney to ensure it goes smoothly and you obtain the money you are owed.
Discuss the Details of Your Case with a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney
If your former spouse is behind on alimony payments, you need to take legal action to ensure the order is enforced. At Nichols Dixon, our experienced family law team is committed to helping clients navigate even the most complex cases. We understand that alimony is necessary for maintaining the standard of living you had while you were married and the difficulties you might be facing in the absence of your former spouse’s support. You can rely on our team’s ability to help you navigate this situation as efficiently as possible, so you can begin receiving payments again.
Reach out to our law office today at (405) 294-1511 to set up an initial consultation with one of our trusted attorneys.