In Pennsylvania, alimony (also known as spousal support) is what a higher-earning spouse pays to the lower-earning spouse each month for financial support after the divorce is final. In a no-fault divorce for example, the spouses can agree on spousal support, but in a more contentious divorce, it can also be awarded by a judge.
Suppose you enlist our services and you achieve a no-fault divorce for just $299. Your spouse agrees to pay you alimony, but later after the divorce is final, those monthly payments suddenly stop. What do you do? Do you offer your ex a break? Do you work out an arrangement? Or, do you take him or her back to court?
The answer truly depends on your circumstances. Did your ex lose their job? Did they get injured in a terrible car accident? Or, did they get tired of paying you money every month? Did they intentionally decide to stop making the payments because he or she is jealous of your new boyfriend or girlfriend?
What Are My Options?
If your ex suddenly stops paying you your alimony payments, our advice is to find out why.Did something bad happen to your spouse like a job loss or illness that caused them to lose all or a portion of their income? If that’s the case, you may want to make an arrangement with him or her that reduces or temporarily suspends payments until they’re back to work.
On the other hand, if your ex is simply not paying you because they don’t want to despite the divorce agreement, it’s time to head back to court. You’ll have to file a motion with the court to enforce the spousal support order and you’ll need to ask the judge to order your ex to pay their overdue payments and continue paying all future payments.
Under Section 3703 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, the family court can take the following measures to enforce an alimony order:
- Enter a judgement against the paying spouse.
- Seize the collection of rents and profits of the paying spouse’s real estate.
- Attach up to 50% of the paying spouse’s wages.
- Award the receiving spouse interest on the unpaid balance.
- Award of legal fees and costs.
In the most serious cases, the paying spouse can be declared “in civil contempt of court,” fined and jailed for no more than six months.
Contact Cairns Law Offices to learn about our no-fault divorces for just $299.