What Are the Consequences of Not Paying Alimony?
If your divorce agreement says that you have to pay alimony, you have to pay it. Even if you have a financial issue or a problem with your spouse, not paying alimony is never the best option. The court can find many different ways to punish you. You can even end up in jail due to nonpayment. So if you are struggling with this financial obligation, you should reach out to our Chatham alimony attorneys and see what can be done.
How Can You Be Punished For Not Paying Alimony?
The punishments for not paying alimony can vary depending on how much you owe and how long you have gone without paying. Ignoring previous orders to show up to court or fix the issue can also encourage more severe punishments. The court will try to “encourage” you to pay by:
- Levying fines
- Suspending your driver’s license
- Placing liens on bank accounts or property
- Having your wages garnished
The last resort is sending you to jail. This obviously is not an ideal arrangement, since someone in jail is going to have trouble paying alimony. However, you should know that it is a possibility if you continue not paying alimony as ordered.
What Should You Do If Your Spouse Stops Paying Alimony?
If you are on the opposite side of this and you realize that your spouse has stopped making alimony payments, that can be frustrating. You might want to go to court right away, but we recommend reaching out personally first. There could just be a misunderstanding that is easy enough to clear up.
If a personal call doesn’t work or the nonpayment of alimony is habitual, then it’s time to bring in the big guns. You can go to court and ask to file a motion to enforce the existing alimony agreement.
Can Alimony Agreements Be Modified?
Alimony agreements can be changed, and that is usually the best option for someone who thinks that they can no longer make payments to their former spouse. If your financial situation has changed dramatically, you may be able to petition the court for a change in your agreement. This can be a good option for someone who is not paying alimony due to job loss or sudden expenses, like medical bills from a serious injury.
You may also want to argue that your former spouse no longer needs alimony since they are in another relationship. If your spouse is cohabitating with someone, it may be possible to make this argument. However, just stopping alimony payments is not the smart move here. You need to go to court first.
Talk to Our Family Lawyers
If you want to learn more about your options, contact Lazor Rantas, PC. We can schedule a consultation and talk about your alimony issues. Then we can help you find an arrangement that works for everyone.