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What Are the Consequences of Not Paying Court-Ordered Alimony in New Jersey?

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When alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, is court-ordered, it has to be paid. Failing to pay alimony by choice or out of a sudden inability can result in severe financial and legal penalties. If your ex-spouse has failed to uphold their alimony obligation, you don’t have to put up with it. Please continue reading to learn how New Jersey courts enforce alimony and how a proficient Ocean County Alimony Attorney can help you protect your rights. 

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

If you’re divorced and your ex-spouse is a couple of days late on their alimony payments, they will likely not face legal action. However, regardless of the reasoning, if they refuse to pay after 30 days of unpaid alimony, you can file a motion with the court to ask a judge to review your case. After reviewing your case, the court can enforce the alimony order using several methods. This will ensure you’re paid the amount you’re owed in arrears and that they comply with the order in the future.

How is Court-Ordered Alimony Enforced in New Jersey?

Depending on the specific circumstances of whether your ex-spouse is refusing to pay or is behind in paying you, there are several enforcement measures the court can take to make them pay. For starters, they may garnish their paycheck. The court can direct your ex-spouse’s employer to deduct a portion of their paycheck and send it directly to you. If your ex-spouse is employed, wage garnishment guarantees you will receive the payments owed.

The court can also order some of your ex-spouse’s property to be seized, or they may place a lien on their property. If they don’t make payments, the property will be sold, and the proceeds will be applied toward what you are owed for past-due alimony. This is known as a Writ of Execution, which gives the court the right to collect money from a debtor to satisfy a judgment. Moreover, if the court determines that alimony is necessary, once it’s ordered, it becomes legally binding, meaning you must adhere to the order. Failure to do so can result in being held in contempt of court. This can lead to fines, jail time, and other sanctions.

Furthermore, the court can enforce your ex-spouse’s alimony obligation by intercepting their federal and state tax refunds. The refund will be applied toward the unpaid alimony you’re owed. The court may even find it appropriate to suspend your ex-spouse’s driver’s license until they’ve paid you what they owe. As you can see, there are various ways that New Jersey courts can enforce alimony.

If your ex-spouse refuses to pay or is behind on alimony payments, please don’t hesitate to contact a skilled Ocean County alimony attorney, who can help you take the necessary steps to receive past-due payments. We are prepared to represent your interest at the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC today.