If you are divorced and your ex stops paying alimony, what do you do? There are various avenues you can take to ensure your ex continues paying their alimony as requested. Here are three main options you can consider.
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- Talk to Your Ex
This is the first and most straightforward approach to ensuring your ex still pays their alimony. Sometimes all it takes is a mere phone call to remind them that they are past due and you need your check. However, this approach may not necessarily work for every single individual. If you find it difficult speaking to your ex, you can consider seeking mediation as an alternative way. However, when you find it difficult dealing with your ex, you can always consider other alternatives such as finding a contempt of court and wage garnishment.
- Contempt of Court
In the context of the alimony, you would move to court to find your ex in contempt so you can enforce the order to pay. Just like the criminal contempt charges, civil contempt charges can lead to incarcerations. In this case, the burden of proof lies with the plaintiff, although it is lower as opposed to the criminal court. Those held in civil contempt are not subject to the same level of constitutional protections as people who face criminal contempt charges.
The sanction for lack of payment will be an order to continue paying as required. Nonetheless, the sanctions could be indefinite, more so when you seek contempt charges to an order that is ongoing.
- Wage Garnishment
Wage garnishment as an option for making your ex pay their alimony always varies between states. It may involve filing a wage garnishment in the civil court once you win a higher court lawsuit or a small claim. Wage garnishment may also be filed directly with the ex’s employer.
When wage garnishment is filed in a civil action, provide the orders of the judge in a higher court lawsuit. This proves that your ex has a direct order to make their payment. For instance, if your ex works for the federal government such as the military, then it’s possible to file for wage garnishment with the federal government. However, you’ll require a specific legal order from the court asking the government to withhold some money from your ex. Such an order instructs the government (who is the employer) to send the money directly to you.
This approach is always a tricky because a certain percent of the debtor’s income is protected by the federal law. The state statutes also regulate the amount allowed for alimony payment resulting from wage garnishment. Generally, people who head households have certain amounts of their wages protected. For that reason, even when you succeed in a wage garnishment, you need to know that you may be in line with other individuals who already possess established judgments against your ex.
If you are experiencing difficulties with spousal or child support enforcement, make sure you seek the help of experienced divorce lawyers. Call Shelly Ingram for all the help you need to deal with an alimony case.
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