When a court orders alimony or spousal support to be paid, those orders are valid and carry the weight of law. Only when the agreed upon (or judge-indicated) expiration date passes is the payor allowed to stop alimony payments. Whatever reason the payor has, whether it’s their free choice or whether their financial situation has taken a sudden downturn, by not making an alimony payment they have exposed themselves to financial and legal consequences.
You have a legal right to request enforcement of the alimony order originally given effect by the court. This being said, your ex may be experiencing a difficult time. They may be fully willing to pay but for an unexpected difficulty. In such a case, you might want to try an out-of-court solution, to resolve the issue diplomatically.
Whichever option you choose, whether negotiation or legal confrontation, this blog post will describe the options at your disposal. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about missed alimony payments, and for passionate and skillful with your own alimony case, contact a Union County alimony attorney today.
Should Legal Action Be My First Course for Ensuring I Receive My Alimony Payment?
Often, legal action isn’t the best first step to take when your ex misses an alimony payment or pays late. Life can be chaotic and your ex may be going through a sudden and large problem, like losing their job, which affects their job security.
If that’s the situation your ex finds themselves in, and if you are amenable to it, you may consider seeking a modification jointly with your ex of the alimony order. Although the negotiations here would take place out of court, it is a good idea to have a lawyer at your side when discussing the alimony amount anew, as your lawyer will be familiar enough with alimony cases to advise on anything that may become a problem.
What Legal Actions Am I Allowed to Pursue?
Unfortunately, sometimes an ex does not want to pay or to talk. If they keep refusing to make payments and refuse to renegotiate the alimony amount on an adjusted and fairer basis, you may need to file a motion to enforce an alimony order. When your lawyer does so on your behalf, you will be able to specifically note what you like for your concerns to be fully and appropriately resolved. You can request that the court order your ex to pay all past-due alimony payments and to pay your court fees. You can ask the court to issue an order that all future payments may be on time. And sometimes you are even able to seek a bench warrant to arrest your ex, depending on the circumstances.
Other orders for which you may petition the court include:
- Garnishment of your ex’s wages
- Requiring your ex to pay interest on overdue payments
- Property liens
- Writs of execution to demand that your ex’s bank withdraw the overdue alimony amount
- Contempt of court, which can be punished by fines and prison time