Spousal Support Enforcement and Collection
The options for enforcing and collecting on an existing spousal support order are very much the same as are available to enforce and collect on a child support order.
So, if you, or someone you know, isn’t receiving the spousal support payments you or they are entitled to, we can help in any number of ways. Cynthia Fox can provide counsel to you and work through the court to enforce and collect on an existing spousal maintenance order so that you receive the financial support you need and deserve. Where necessary or appropriate, Cynthia can have the no-pay/slow-pay ex-spouse called into court to account for their failure to comply.
Here are the various ways that we can be of service to clients with spousal support “collection problems”:
- Garnish the wages, bank accounts, retirement funds and other income sources and cash assets of the payer so that some or all of the past due amounts are deducted from their wages and accounts. To this end, Cynthia files the appropriate paperwork and affidavits with the court and the sheriff issues the garnishments to the employer, banks and other institutions.
- File for an Examination of Judgment Debtor. The payer will be ordered to court to testify under oath as to his/her income, assets and financial condition and as to the reason for non-payment. Where appropriate, we can subpoena the payer’s paystubs, financial statements and other records, even call witnesses, so the court can assess the truthfulness of the payer’s testimony. Often, the examination is a prelude to charging the payer with contempt of court for failure to comply with the support order. (See below for more information on the contempt of court option.)
- Hold the payer in contempt of court. We initiate this by filing a “contempt motion” with the court that issued the original spousal support order. At trial, we dedicate ourselves to proving that the ex-spouse was able financially to comply with the support order, but chose not to do so. If the judge finds the payer in contempt, he/she can fine and/or jail the payer until he/she pays the arrearage.
- Refer the matter to the Prosecuting Attorney. In the event that all of the forgoing options fail to yield the desired result, we sometimes recommend that the matter be referred to the prosecutor’s office so that criminal non-support charges can be pursued. By law, the cumulative arrearage has to reach a threshold amount and be past due for certain number of months before the charges will be filed. If a conviction can be obtained, a jail sentence may result.