So the court awarded you alimony and you think that it should be a smooth process moving forward. In comes the time when you are expecting to receive payment and you quickly learn that your ex-wife is refusing to pay...so now what? There are a few courses of action you can take, with the most common being issuing a contempt case or income withholding.
First things first, you'll have to head back to court for help with a trusted divorce attorney. If a spouse is failing to pay a court-ordered alimony, they are violating court orders. In this case, judges will most likely institute a charge of contempt of court against your ex-wife. In a contempt of court case, a party (you) will ask the court to find the other party (your ex-wife) in contempt for not following the rules of the court. With that being said, your spouse could face fines and incarceration. If the judge finds that your ex-wife is in contempt, he or she may order your ex-wife to pay a certain amount of the alimony on the same day or within a specific time-fame in order to avoid jail time or fines.
Some states allow a spouse to have funds automatically deducted from an ex-spouse's paycheck. This form of payment keeps you out of the equation and guarantees that you will receive payment, as long as your spouse remains employed of course. To do so, you need to make sure that your alimony includes an income withholding provision from the court. If your spouse is willfully unemployed, you could even request that the judge orders your spouse to look for a job to accelerate the process.
There are many ways that you can go about collecting unpaid alimony, depending on the state you live in. However, do not take the chance to handle this situation and contact an experienced divorce attorney immediately. Divorce issues can be the most difficult and emotionally daunting experiences you go through. However, we're here to help. From divorce to alimony, our attorneys at Bailey Smith Bailey have over 90 years of combined experience of aggressively representing clients in court. Before making any decisions about how to go about collecting funds from your spouse, turn to our experts for the proper assistance and guidance. Request a consultation, or call our main office at 517-349-2800.