If you have an ex husband who is not fulfilling his moral and legal obligation to pay you alimony, you may have recourse. An Divorce Lawyer Peoria IL trusts can help you pursue legal action against your former spouse and assist you in getting the financial support you are entitled to by law.
A Legally Enforceable Debt
When a judge orders an individual to pay support to an ex spouse, payment of alimony becomes a legally enforceable debt. This means that you have the full support of the law behind you if your former spouse defaults on his payments. As a result, you have several options. The following is general information intended to inform you of possible actions you can take, however, it is always best to speak to an attorney who can provide legal advice.
- Try talking to your former spouse about the missed payments.It’s possible that he simply forgot or is intending to pay you, but not on time. Reach out to him in a manner he prefers whether that’s a phone call, text, email, or in person visit. However, make every effort to avoid escalating the situation with high emotions as a negative confrontation may worsen the situation. Know that you have other options if he does not take this opportunity to make up the late payments.
- Contact the judge or court and request that they hold your ex spouse in contempt. Because they are legally required to make their alimony payments to you as a result of a court order, by not fulfilling their obligation they are breaking the law.
- The first step is to contact the court and request the judge who ordered the alimony payments to hold your ex husband in contempt for non-payment.
- If the judge proceeds with a contempt hearing then your ex husband will be called into court for an additional hearing. This can take some time depending on how busy the judge is, which is why it’s preferable to first approach your ex spouse directly.
- After the hearing, if the judge holds your ex husband in contempt, he may be ordered to jail unless they can provide a reasonable explanation for why they have not made the payments. The loss of their job is one reason the judge may not hold them contempt, but there are additional valid reasons the judge may consider.
- If the judge finds that your ex spouse has a valid reason for not making the payments, he or she may order your ex to pay under an alternative agreement. For example, if they lost their job and cannot pay, the judge may defer the payments until such time they are employed again but within a certain timeframe.
- Call a divorce or family law attorney. An attorney who represents you may be able to convince your ex spouse that catching up on their alimony payments is in their best interest. In addition, they can be by your side in court if you must pursue legal action against your former spouse.
Contact an attorney who handles family law or divorce cases for information on how they can help you.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Smith & Weer, P.C. for their contribution on Divorce Law.