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What Can I Do If My Ex Stops Paying Spousal Support?

What Can I Do If My Ex Stops Paying Spousal Support?

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During the divorce process, it is common for spousal support to be awarded to the spouse with a lower income-earning ability. It is designed to ensure the dissolution of the marriage does not result in one spouse becoming impoverished or destitute. In New York, there are two types of spousal support – permanent and rehabilitative. Based on the circumstances of your marriage and several other factors, a judge will determine which is most appropriate.

In some cases, a former spouse might refuse to make these payments and, thankfully, you have legal options to ensure the court order is enforced and you receive the money you are owed. We will review some of your options in this blog, so continue reading to learn more.

The Next Steps

If you stopped receiving spousal support payments from your ex, you will have to head back to court to enforce the order. You should hire an attorney to assist you with the process and get the ball rolling by filing a motion with the court, asking the judge to order your former spouse to pay all overdue payments and ensure no future payments are missed. In legal terms, this is known as a motion for contempt or enforcement.

Enforcing the Spousal Support Order

A refusal to pay spousal support is essentially a violation of court orders. To remedy this, courts have a substantial amount of discretion when it comes to punishments. A judge might impose a fine on your former spouse or even order jail time if he or she continues to disobey the court order.

To ensure you receive the money you are owed, your attorney can file an income execution notice to have the amount you are owed withheld from your former spouse’s paycheck, which would be sent directly to you. An income withholding order can remain in effect even after the overdue spousal support is paid to prevent missed payments from occurring in the future.

If your former spouse owes a sizeable amount of money, your attorney can also request a judge to issue a money judgment against him or her for the amount owed, including interest. Additionally, you might also be reimbursed for the legal fees you incurred to enforce the spousal support order.

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Attorney

If your spouse missed one or more spousal support payments, you should reach out to an attorney as soon as possible to file a legal action and ensure the court order is enforced. At Friedman & Friedman PLLC, Attorneys at Law, our team of lawyers has the experience and insight necessary to guide you through this complex legal process. We understand how crucial your spousal support payments are for your lifestyle and that you must be under some financial strain due to your former spouse’s non-compliance. You can rely on our team to protect your rights and help you achieve the results you need.

Contact us today at (516) 688-0088 to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys.


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