Your attorney may advise you to seek action against your ex as soon as he or she has refused to pay alimony. It is key that you have an experienced family law attorney representing you, to assist in showing the court how your former husband or wife has not submitted payments, has failed to pay the full amount, or been late more than just once. When gathering evidence, collect written proof of missing, late, or partial payments. Along with that, show how the lack of alimony has caused you financial turmoil.
Keep in mind that you may have to attend divorce court several times, as a very resistant ex spouse may continue to go against the court’s request to pay you. Rest assured, an attorney can legal strategies to help you pursue overdue payments.
Consequences of Not Paying
The most common ways that alimony is collected after lack of payment is through wage garnishment, mediation, or a lawsuit. A judge may order that your ex pays alimony, or otherwise they will be in contempt of court, risking fines and jail time if the defiance continues. There are other methods that can help motivate a former spouse into paying alimony, such as suspending their license. By doing so, their daily life is impacted and majorly inconvenienced. Your attorney can assess your situation and recommend how to take action.
Collecting Through a Lawsuit
You can file a lawsuit in higher court or small claims against your former spouse for alimony collection. If you file a lawsuit, what may happen is the court will schedule an initial hearing where you state how much you are owed and evidence that supports these claims. Your former spouse is to attend this hearing and can correct the problem or move forward to trial over the dispute. Depending on how much you are owed, you will either file for small claims or higher court. This amount varies based on your state, so talk with your local court clerk to find out what is appropriate for your alimony case.
Collecting Through Wage Garnishment
Wage garnishment may be enforced after winning a civil action in either higher or small claims court. Or, you could file for wage garnishment directly with the employer of your former spouse. An attorney can inform you of your options during a consultation. Federal law does protect the debtor’s income to a certain degree, so only a specific amount can be taken from each paycheck. But, seeking alimony overdue payments through wage garnishment can be quite effective, since a portion is removed before the debtor even receives the money.
If your ex has refused to pay alimony, then it’s time to take action now to prevent further financial turmoil. Please contact a divorce attorney, like from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, today to schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney.