Spousal maintenance, also known as spousal support or alimony, is critical for many after a divorce. Spousal support may be one of the ways you support yourself financially as you move forward. Yet, what happens if your ex-spouse stops paying?
What You Can Do If Your Ex Stops Paying Spousal Maintenance
We recommend calling a family law attorney who can act on your behalf. An attorney will guide you through the steps required to obtain what’s owed to you. Without an attorney, you run the risk of filing incomplete documentation which can delay your payments further.
Filing a Motion
First, you and your attorney must determine why your ex stopped paying maintenance payments. For example, if your ex-spouse lost their job or suffered an injury resulting in unemployment, the court may decide to reduce the amount owed each month or suspend payments until they’re able to pay.
If your ex-spouse simply refuses to pay, your attorney can help you file a motion with the court. The motion will ask the court to enforce an order stating your ex-spouse must make payments now and for the foreseeable future.
If the court rules in favor of the motion, your ex will be forced to make the payments immediately. If they don’t have the funds to make the payments, the court may choose to withhold a part of your ex’s income or award you with other assets.
Failure to Comply
If your ex still refuses to comply with the court order, they can be held in contempt of court. Contempt can result in hefty fines and even jail time if your ex refuses to make amends.
A Note About Contractual Alimony
Spousal maintenance is court-ordered. Contractual alimony is support that’s voluntarily agreed upon by you and your spouse. If for any reason your ex stops paying contractual alimony, they can’t be held in contempt of court. If your alimony is contractual, it’s even more important to contact an attorney to discuss your options.
Call Schneider Law Firm Today for Help
If your ex-spouse has stopped paying spousal maintenance, please reach out for help. To learn more about alimony and maintenance, give our Arlington office a call at 817-799-7125 or send us a message.