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My Illinois Ex-Spouse Refuses to Pay Alimony. What Can I Do? 

Posted on in Divorce

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1909339975.jpgAlso known as alimony or spousal maintenance, “spousal support” is technically the term used in Illinois for payments made from one former spouse to another after a divorce has been finalized. While not every divorce decree contains an order for spousal support, when it is ordered, it is legally enforceable and failing to make payments carries legal consequences. 

The recipient of spousal support is often dependent on the funds for essentials like housing, food, and clothing. While spousal support is meant for the spouse, it often also contributes to the expenses associated with raising children. If spousal support payments do not come on time or at all, it can have a seriously detrimental effect on both a parent and child. If you should be receiving spousal support and your ex has decided not to pay for any reason, an experienced Illinois family law attorney may be able to help. 

Do I Need to Go to Court to Enforce Alimony? 

Most experts recommend that the first course of action is to have a conversation with your ex. Everyone falls on hard times and there may be a legitimate reason that he or she is unable to make payments. In that case, you may be able to agree together about what to do until things get back to normal. However, even if you do decide to create an agreement outside of court, it is best to have it in writing with both spouses’ signatures. That way, if a spouse still fails to abide by your informal agreement, you have proof that he or she agreed to it. 

How Does a Court Enforce Alimony Payments? 

More often, however, a spouse decides not to pay spousal support because he or she thinks it is unfair or feels that other financial obligations are more important. In this case, the spouse who fails to pay can be held in contempt of court and ordered to make payments. Judges can do any of the following to ensure payments are made: 

  • Garnish wages, tax returns, and other income

  • Seize bank accounts

  • Adding interest to unpaid support 

  • Suspend driver’s licenses

  • Levy fines

  • Order the delinquent spouse to reimburse the receiving spouse for attorney and court costs

The more serious and long-lasting the alimony violation, the more serious the penalties can become. Leaving the state, deliberately becoming under- or unemployed, or using other evasive tactics can be grounds for felony charges and prison time. 

Meet with an Arlington Heights Spousal Support Attorney

If your ex will not meet the legal obligations of your divorce order, you have options. For help pursuing the money to which you are entitled, consider getting help from an experienced Arlington Heights spousal support attorney with A. Traub & Associates. We will assertively advocate on your behalf and do whatever we can to speed up the process and make it easier for you. Call us today at 847-749-4182





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