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What to Do if Your Ex Won't Pay Your Alimony

Alimony is money paid by a higher-earning spouse to a lower-earning or dependent spouse during or after a legal separation or divorce. While each state has established its own laws in regards to alimony or spousal support, in Tennessee there are four types of alimony, including: 1) rehabilitative alimony, 2) alimony in futuro (also known as periodic alimony), 3) transitional alimony, and 4) alimony in solido (also known as lump sum alimony).

Here is a brief description of each type of alimony:

1. Rehabilitative alimony is meant to help an unemployed spouse to develop the skills necessary to become self-supporting. Often, a court orders this type of alimony to help support the dependent spouse while he or she goes back to school or receives the training necessary to earn more money.

2. Alimony in futuro is paid for a long period of time, usually to a spouse who cannot be rehabilitated or who can only be partially rehabilitated and cannot obtain training or schooling for some reason.

3. Transitional alimony is awarded when rehabilitation isn’t necessary, but the spouse needs time to get back onto their feet after a divorce.

4. Alimony in solido is a type of long-term financial support in which payments are often paid in installments over a pre-determined period of time.

What if A Former Spouse Won’t Pay?

Suppose your former spouse is intentionally not paying your alimony payments. What are your legal options? In order to enforce the court order, you will need to head back to court. When a paying spouse fails to pay court-ordered alimony, he or she is disobeying a court order, and judges do not take kindly to people who willfully ignore their court orders.

Judges generally have wide discretion when it comes to enforcing alimony orders. If your spouse has fallen behind on your alimony, a judge may issue an income withholding order, in which case the alimony would be deducted directly from their paycheck.

Through a writ of execution, a judge may award a portion of your spouse’s bank accounts or other assets. A judgement can also be issued against your former spouse for the total amount owed with interest. You may also be awarded attorney fees incurred for hiring a lawyer to help you collect the alimony that’s owed to you.

Looking for a Murfreesboro family law attorney to represent you? Contact The Clarke Law Firm today for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (615) 645-1501.

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