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Not Receiving Support Payments? Now What?

November 10th, 2017 by Marta J. Papa

You’ve been awarded child support, spousal support or alimony. After your divorce is final, it is up to your ex to make timely payments. But things don’t always go as planned. Your ex may begin to miss payments because they are angry about the divorce, experiencing financial hardship, or being pressured by a new partner not to make the payments. Whatever the reason, not receiving the money you anticipate can be devastating. If you’re not receiving support payments, it’s important to give your attorney a call so they can help enforce financial judgments. Here are some options to discuss with your attorney.

  • Try to enforce the court order by asking the court to hold your spouse in contempt of court. A court order puts legal pressure on your ex to pay your support with the possibility of jail time for ignoring his or her support obligation.
  • Secure your payments by placing a lien on an asset or assets that your spouse will exit the marriage with.  “However, if the asset is your ex-spouse’s home, you may not be able to get your money until the home is sold. Also, if you have a lien on your ex’s retirement account, you may not be able to collect the money you’re entitled to until he or she retires or your ex quits or gets fired.”
  • Get your spouse to set up automatic deductions with his/her employer for your spousal support. “With automatic deductions, the court issues an order telling your former spouse’s employer to deduct a certain amount of money from his or her paychecks and send it to the court, which sends you a check. In other words, your former spouse never sees that money.”