Both parties must comply with the terms of the divorce settlement. This includes the terms regarding child support, child custody, and of course, alimony payments. But unfortunately, some people choose to defy their court order by refusing to pay alimony. If this happens to you, it’s important to take legal action as soon as possible. Here’s what to do if your ex-spouse refuses to pay alimony:
Contempt of Court
Ask an attorney to file a motion to hold your ex-spouse in contempt of court. If this is the first time this has happened, the judge will most likely order your ex-spouse to make the outstanding payments in addition to a fine. However, if your ex-spouse has repeatedly missed payments, the judge can sentence him to jail. Most ex-spouses will pay what is owed at this point in order to avoid jail time.
You can also ask the judge to withhold your ex-spouse’s income. The court can order your ex-spouse’s employer to send a portion of each paycheck to you in order to cover alimony. Withholding income ensures that you are paid consistently since your ex-spouse will not be making the payments himself. The money is immediately transferred to you, so it is never in your ex-spouse’s possession. However, this method of alimony enforcement is only effective if your ex-spouse is employed.
Writ of Execution
Sometimes, it is appropriate to ask the court to seize some of your ex-spouse’s assets in order to cover the missed alimony payments. The court can seize bank accounts, stock, CDs and other assets as long as you know where your ex-spouse keeps his money. This method is typically only used if your ex-spouse owes you a large sum of money. If he’s only missed one payment, the court will not approve the seizure of assets.
Judgment Plus Interest
Another option is to ask the court to enter a judgment against your ex-spouse for the amount that he owes in alimony plus interest and legal fees. If a judgment is entered against your ex-spouse, a lien will automatically be placed on real estate property in his name. Placing a lien against the property ensures you are paid if your ex-spouse ever sells the property.
Is your ex-spouse refusing to pay alimony? If so, let Williams Law Group, LLC help. Our experienced attorneys will work with the court to enforce the alimony order so you finally get the money you deserve. Call our office at (908) 738-8404, email us at email@example.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation.