In many divorce cases, alimony is ordered to help the spouse who earned less during the marriage. This helps the spouse recover from a divorce, and balance the financial stability in the months to come. However, many ex-spouses stop paying alimony after a while. This can create a problem, especially if one of the spouses depended on the alimony to provide for them and the child.
These situations can be extremely difficult to cope with. If you have experienced anything similar lately, your best option is to consult with a Fort Lauderdale alimony lawyer and learn more about your legal options.
Here are a few things that you can do if your ex-spouse stopped paying alimony.
Once ordered, alimony must be paid every month. It is ordered by the court, and whoever breaks this rule can face serious legal consequences. Many people take alimony for granted and refuse to pay it after a while. However, the results of those actions will come back to haunt them eventually. The consequences could include:
- Getting their driver’s license suspended
- Getting their passport taken away
- Facing a lawsuit from their ex-spouse
- Being forced to stay in the country until alimony (all that is owed) is paid
What You Can Do
As a spouse who is receiving alimony, once your ex-spouse stops sending you monthly checks, you have the right to seek help from the court. One of the things that you can do is ask the court to find the other party in contempt for not following the rules of the court.
In that case, your ex-spouse will have the right to defend themself while you will have to prove that you did not receive any checks recently. You will be asked to provide the documents proving that you did not receive any alimony checks in the past period. Once proven, the court may order your ex-spouse to pay a certain amount of the alimony on the same day, or within a few days (to avoid going to jail).
Withholding Their Income
In some states, the court may assign income withholding or garnishment. This means that as soon as the ex-spouse’s paycheck is in, an amount equal to that of alimony will be taken away and sent to the spouse receiving the alimony.
*Note: If an income withholding was not included in the original court order, a spouse receiving the alimony may request it at any point based on the circumstances.
Not all income can be garnished (i.e. Social Security Benefits, unemployment benefits). Also, there is a limit to how much income can be garnished and withheld in this way.
For more information, speak with an alimony attorney in Fort Lauderdale today. Schedule your initial free consultation, and explain your situation to an attorney. He will help you decide what the best course of action is, and help you collect your alimony if your ex-spouse has stopped paying it. Do not give up on what is rightfully yours.