What If a Spouse Refuses to Pay Alimony?

Alimony requires payments to be made by one party in a divorce to the other so that both parties can maintain a similar standard of living after separation even though one spouse has a lesser income. While there is no mandated formula for alimony calculation, it can be based on need or ability to pay alimony, level of education, vocational skills, duration of the marriage, and many other factors that may be relevant to the court, according to New Jersey Revised Statutes §2A-34-23. However, if you have been granted alimony by a court but your ex-spouse refuses to pay alimony, you have several legal options at your disposal

The best first step to addressing your spouse’s refusal to pay spousal support is typically to contact a lawyer so you can get professional legal counsel for your specific case. An attorney who is intimately familiar with divorce law could help the legal options that might be available to you in your unique circumstances.

The primary option from here is to go back to court and have your spouse held in contempt. As the intended recipient of alimony, this will give you the opportunity to present your case on why you need alimony payments, establish what the initial alimony agreement was, and identify how the ex-spouse has been non-compliant with the court’s previous orders. If the court finds your spouse in contempt of court, they may allow them a certain amount of time to pay the alimony, on penalty of jail time if they fail to do so.

Another solution to late or missing alimony could be to revise the initial court order. For example, if you are having trouble collecting your alimony payments on time, you may want to consider adding an income withholding order to your alimony agreement, so you can receive payments in a timely fashion withdrawn directly from your spouse’s employer out of their paycheck. A judge may also award alimony payments directly from your ex-spouse’s bank account.

An experienced divorce attorney could lend their knowledge and skill to your case if your ex-spouse refuses to pay alimony. Reach out to the attorneys of Moskowitz Law Group, LLC today to schedule a case evaluation.

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