Alimony Enforcement Attorneys in Bergen County, NJ
What To Do if Your Spouse is Not Complying with an Alimony Agreement
During any divorce or legal relationship dissolution, one of the most important issues that will need to be decided is that of alimony. Also known as spousal support, alimony is designed to help spouses who have traditionally been financially dependent on the other spouse to maintain a lifestyle similar to what they enjoyed during their marriage. Alimony can also be awarded in situations where one spouse made financial contributions to their partner’s education or career, but their marriage ended before the fruits of those investments could be enjoyed.
However, just because you and your former spouse eventually agree to an alimony settlement, that doesn’t always mean both parties will abide by its terms. This can be either the supporting spouse failing to make regular or complete alimony payments or the supported spouse not taking the necessary actions to become financially independent.
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to enforce the terms of their alimony agreement and modify their alimony agreement when necessary in towns across Bergen County, including Teaneck, Paramus, Ridgewood, Fort Lee, and Hackensack. Contact our firm to discuss your options regarding the enforcement of your spousal support agreement in a free and confidential consultation with our family law team.
My Spouse is Not Complying with Our Alimony Agreement
Whether you are not receiving the alimony payments you are due, or your former spouse is not taking the required steps in your alimony agreement to become financially independent, you have several options at your disposal for resolving this situation.
In the case that your former spouse is not making regular or full alimony payments, you may wish to speak with them before taking legal action. There are many legitimate circumstances that would cause your former spouse to be unable to meet their alimony obligations. For example, a loss of employment, or a serious injury or illness. In these instances, you may wish to modify your existing alimony agreement, either temporarily or permanently, in order to better reflect the changed circumstance.
Similarly, if your former spouse is not seeking the education or job-training required to become financially independent, they may have a legitimate reason for not doing so.
By first communicating with your former partner, you may be able to avoid some of the more costly or time-consuming legal actions necessary for enforcing your alimony agreement.
Alimony Modification Lawyers
In the case that your former spouse has a legitimate reason for not being able to comply with the terms of your alimony agreement, you may wish to formalize this understanding through an alimony modification petition. Such a court motion will ensure that both parties are aware of their updated obligations in terms of alimony, and protect parties from alimony enforcement motions when they have a legitimate reason for being unable to adhere to the existing alimony agreement.
Alimony Enforcement Motions Attorneys
On the other hand, if your spouse has no legitimate reason for not complying with the terms of your alimony agreement, and refuses to cooperate or communicate regarding the matter, you and your spousal support lawyer may instead wish to file a motion for alimony enforcement with the courts.
In these situations, the courts have a variety of options at their disposal to enforce the terms of your existing alimony agreement, and which one(s) they choose to pursue depends upon their own opinion, the arguments of your attorney, and any history of non-compliance of your former spouse. These potential actions can be:
- Taking alimony payments directly out of one party’s paycheck via wage garnishment.
- Placing a lien on a property or asset, meaning that once sold, the amount of the lien will be deducted from the total value of the sale and given to the other party.
- Draft a “writ of execution” which orders a bank to deduct a specific amount from one party’s bank account and transfer it to the other’s
- Find one party “in contempt” of a court order, resulting in fines, sanctions, and potentially even jail time
- Modify the existing alimony agreement to more accurately reflect the current circumstances
The courts also have the authority to order that interest be paid on outstanding alimony payments, and in some cases, that the petitioning party’s legal expenses also be covered by the other party.
So while the courts clearly have a variety of options at their disposal when it comes to enforcing your alimony agreement, convincing them that enforcement is necessary often requires experienced legal counsel. By retaining the services of our spousal support attorneys, you can proceed with the alimony enforcement process much more confidently, secure in the knowledge that your unique needs and interests are protected.
Contact our Hackensack Alimony Enforcement and Modification Lawyers Today
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our family law attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to draft, modify, and enforce alimony agreements of all kinds in towns across Bergen County. By practicing exclusively family and divorce law, our firm can focus on providing each of our clients with the knowledgeable, effective, and attentive legal service that they need and deserve in matters so important to their legal, financial, and parental futures. We believe in working closely with each of our clients, and that by keeping them highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, we can work towards securing the resolution that best meets our clients’ unique needs and concerns. To speak with our law team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your spousal support agreement, modifying your alimony agreement, or enforcing your alimony agreement, contact our firm today.