If a former spouse refuses to pay alimony, a lawyer, like a divorce lawyer from Pioletti Pioletti & Nichols, can offer insight and strategy into how to get these payments into your hands. You may be relying on these payments to afford groceries, rent, clothing, medicine, gas, and other necessities for living and working. If you can show through evidence that these payments have not been made at all, are frequently late, or not in the full amount, a judge can enforce payment and subsequent punishments for the paying spouse disobeying the court.
Investigate the Reason for Not Paying
If your spouse has been consistent with paying alimony but suddenly stopped, there’s a chance that he or she was in an accident or lost a job. Perhaps the lack of payments isn’t actually out of revenge or spite. If you have a cordial relationship with your former spouse, maybe you can contact him or her and inquire about payment. If you are not on speaking terms, then an attorney can give you advice as to what to do next.
Trying Mediation First
The most common methods of getting payment for alimony is through mediation, a lawsuit (in small claims or higher court), or wage garnishment. If you have a decent enough relationship with your former spouse to where you can handle a conversation in person, then you may want to give mediation a try. This is where you both sit down with a mediator present, talk about why alimony is unpaid, and make an agreement for when and how it will be paid in the future.
When the Spouse Still Refuses
After the court has filed an initial request to your former spouse to pay and you still haven’t received money, he or she may be held in contempt of court. Once your former spouse gets knowledge of this and the risk of jail time, you may notice payments start to arrive including anything that is overdue. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes immense pressure from the court and the threat of serious consequences for a spouse to give into paying alimony.
When Wage Garnishment Is Helpful
With help from an attorney, you can file for wage garnishment through a civil action. While the laws for wage garnishment can vary by state, the overall idea is the same — to remove a percentage of money from the person’s paychecks to fulfill an overdue financial obligation. Only a specific percentage can be taken out of every paycheck, based on state statutes.
If you are fed up with your former spouse not paying alimony, it’s time to take action through other strategies. A skilled legal team will understand how important these payments can be, especially if you rely on them for basic living needs. Contact a lawyer today for prompt assistance.