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What Happens if I Don’t Have the Means to Pay Alimony?

In today’s economy, alimony orders can create a significant financial strain on the payor. As life changes, you may be in a predicament where you cannot continue making alimony payments. Failure to uphold your alimony obligation to your former spouse can have serious legal ramifications. Please continue reading to learn what you should do if you don’t have the financial means to pay alimony in New Jersey and how compassionate Ocean County Alimony Attorney can help you navigate your legal options. 

What is Alimony?

Alimony, also known as spousal maintenance, is financial support provided by one spouse to the other after divorce. This court-ordered payment is designed to help a dependent spouse maintain a lifestyle comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage. Alimony is intended to prevent a divorce from having a more substantial economic impact on one spouse than another. Essentially, it limits any unfair financial discrepancies in a marriage. It’s important to note that alimony is not automatically granted. The court will consider many factors when deciding whether or not to award alimony, such as the duration of the marriage, the financial needs of the parties, and the ability to pay the support.

What Happens if I Don’t Pay?

If you have been ordered to pay alimony and have been rendered unable to afford it, your former spouse can file a motion to enforce the alimony award with the court. Essentially, the recipient spouse can ask the court for several legal remedies, such as having their wages garnished, issuing a Writ of Execution, having a warrant for their arrest, or even having to pay all the money owed in one lump sum payment. The judge has broad discretion in determining what sanctions to order.

Can I Request a Modification?

To avoid the potential penalties of not paying your alimony on time or in full, you should file a motion for modification. As life changes, there are several instances in which you need to modify, reduce, or terminate alimony payments. For example, if you have experienced an involuntary job loss, a decreased income, or a significant health problem that has impaired your earning ability, this can affect your legal obligation to your former spouse. If you wish to modify your alimony payments, you will be burdened with demonstrating that you have experienced a substantial change in your financial circumstances that has rendered you unable to continue making your alimony payments.

If you can no longer afford your alimony payments, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of a determined attorney from the Law Office of Sarina Gianna, LLC, who can zealously represent your interests and protect your rights.