If your ex fails to pay spousal support, you may be at a loss about what to do. This is a normal reaction to a frustrating situation, but you may have more options than you realize. In these circumstances, it is usually wise to consult with an experienced attorney to identify strategies you can use to approach this issue effectively.
First, it is wise to assess the motivations for nonpayment. If, for instance, your ex falls on hard times and simply cannot make payments according to the spousal support order, you may want to consider some sort of informal agreement where your ex pays you less than he or she owes, but is still able to make some payments rather than none. Often, being willing to flex when others experience hardship creates a scenario where you benefit more than you might otherwise.
You may also find it useful to consider using the strength of the court to compel a nonpaying ex. Under civil contempt of court, such a person may face the loss of many professional or personal licenses, may experience wage garnishment or may even face jail time. In many cases, the threat of these very real possibilities is sufficient to motivate a nonpaying ex to get back on track.
However, you choose to proceed, be sure to consult with an attorney to make sure that you fully understand all your options. You may find that you have more levers of influence you can pull than you realize. Professional legal counsel helps you assess the entire situation from all sides and protects your rights as you pursue justice.
Source: Findlaw, "What to Do When Your Ex Stops Paying Alimony," accessed Nov. 17, 2017