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When alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is awarded to a dependent spouse, it must be paid. Failure to fulfill an alimony obligation will result in serious consequences. If your ex-spouse fails to make court-ordered alimony payments, you should enlist the help of our reliable Monmouth County Spousal Support Attorneys, who can help you navigate your legal options. Please continue reading to learn how New Jersey courts enforce alimony orders. 

What Should I Do If My Ex-Spouse Fails to Pay Court-Ordered Alimony?

If you’re not receiving court-ordered alimony payments, it’s beneficial to communicate with your ex-spouse to find out why. Your ex-spouse may have a legitimate reason for failing to uphold their alimony obligation. They may have suddenly lost their jobs or suffered a severe reduction in their income due to a serious medical condition. Regardless of the reasoning, once alimony is ordered, it becomes legally binding and must be paid.

If they can no longer afford their maintenance payments, they must request a modification to the existing alimony order and demonstrate to the court that there has been a significant change in their financial circumstances. If your ex-spouse’s alimony payments are a couple of days late, they won’t face any legal ramifications. However, if they haven’t paid you in over 30 days, you can file a motion with the court to enforce their alimony order.

How Are Alimony Orders Enforced?

If your ex-spouse isn’t paying court-ordered alimony that you should be receiving, there are several enforcement measures that the court may take to make them pay. One of the most common ways alimony is enforced in New Jersey is through wage garnishment. Essentially, the court will direct your ex-spouse’s employer to take the amount owed in unpaid alimony out of their paycheck. This form of income withholding will ensure you receive the amount you are owed before your ex-spouse even has a chance to receive the funds. It’s crucial to note that the court may even intercept your ex-spouse’s federal and state tax refunds.

Another common way the court enforces alimony orders is by issuing a Writ of Execution. This court order allows your ex-spouse’s property to be seized and sold, and then the proceeds from the sale will apply toward your past-due alimony. Furthermore, by failing to pay alimony as ordered by the court, your ex-spouse can be held in contempt of court. This can result in fines, the payment of your legal fees, and even jail time. Ultimately, the court can impose various consequences to ensure that a dependent spouse receives the financial support they’re entitled to. This means they can even suspend your ex-spouse’s driver’s license.

If your ex-spouse refuses to pay or is behind on alimony payments, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted attorney from the legal team at Paone Zaleski & Murphy, who can help you safeguard your rights.