In divorce cases, Texas family law courts may order the earning spouse to pay a certain amount of money, called alimony or spousal maintenance, to their ex spouse. This is to offset the adverse impact of the separation on the non-earning spouse. The alimony amount depends on various factors such as the length of the marriage, state laws, and the age and health of the spouse seeking the alimony. If an ex-spouse who is ordered to pay spousal maintenance violates the order, it may result in financial hardship for the other person and they may need to consult a divorce attorney.
In such cases, the law has several provisions for the affected person, four of which we will discuss in this blog post. Read on.
1. Filing a Contempt Case
Some states allow the ex-partner who is supposed to receive alimony to file a contempt case against the ex-spouse at fault. This contempt case is also known as a “motion of enforcement.” If it is proved that the person is deliberately holding back the payment, the court will enforce the original divorce decree to order the payor to pay outstanding amounts plus any court costs.
2. Requesting a Wage Garnishment Order
The ex-spouse who is supposed to get spousal support can approach a family court to pass a wage garnishment order against the payor. In this arrangement, the court orders the payor’s employer to deduct and send the alimony amount (from the payor’s salary) directly to the beneficiary. In case the payor is self-employed, the court may ask them to create a trust account that the affected ex-spouse can access.
Related Post: Ways Your Lawyer Can Help You with Your Divorce
3. Place a Lien on the Payor’s Assets
If the payor ex-spouse fails to pay alimony, the affected ex-partner may request a family court to allow them to place a lien on the person’s assets, such as their property or retirement account, till the payor ex-spouse pays the outstanding amount. That said, if the property is the payor’s home, the beneficiary may be able to collect the outstanding amount when the property is sold. Further, in case the affected spouse places a lien on the payor’s retirement account, they may get the amount after the payor ex-spouse retires, quits, or is fired from their job.
4. Requesting a Judgment
If an ex-spouse payor owes a substantial amount as alimony, the other ex-partner may request the court to issue a money judgment, which involves directing the payor to pay total amount they owe plus interest. The court may also instruct the payor to pay attorney fees that their ex-partner had to spend in connection to their efforts to recover the alimony amount.
Claim Your Right to Get Spousal Support
Spousal support is an important right provided by the law to a qualified ex-spouse who is unable to financially support themselves or their child. If your right to alimony has been violated despite the court’s order, contact the Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) to connect with an experienced divorce attorney in Austin, TX who can help you get the order enforced. You can reach us at (512) 472-8303, toll-free at 866-303-8303, or fill out our contact form and we will take it from there.