What Can I Do if My Ex Refuses to Pay Alimony?

 Posted on July 04, 2024 in Alimony / Maintenance

St. Charles, IL alimony attorneyAlimony payments, also known as spousal support or spousal maintenance payments in Illinois, refer to payments made from one ex-spouse to another after a divorce is finalized. Alimony payments are court-ordered, and your ex failing or refusing to make his alimony payments can come with serious legal consequences.

If you are struggling to get your ex-spouse to pay alimony, you will need the assistance of an Illinois spousal maintenance lawyer to explore your enforcement options and help you get the payments you need.

Can I Go to Court to Enforce Alimony?

While you may be tempted to go to court immediately to force your ex to pay, your first step should be a conversation with your former spouse whenever possible. This can let you know if your ex has truly fallen on hard times and needs an adjustment to the payment schedule, or if he is refusing to pay alimony willfully. Consult your lawyer before having this conversation and try to get your ex’s response in writing.

If you do end up having to go to court, the judge may find your ex in contempt of court for violating a court order. Contempt of court is a serious criminal charge. The judge may also take the following actions to enforce alimony payments:

  • Your ex’s wages or tax returns may be garnished

  • Your ex’s bank accounts may be seized

  • Interest may be added to unpaid alimony payments

  • Your ex’s driver’s license may be suspended

Additionally, your ex may be ordered to reimburse you for both attorney and court costs.

What Are the Penalties for Refusing to Pay Alimony?

In Illinois, the Non-Support Punishment Act outlines penalties for individuals who refuse to make their alimony payments. The penalties include fines and, if criminal charges are filed, either a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense or a Class 4 felony for a second or greater offense.

A Class A misdemeanor carries up to a year of jail time and a fine of up to $2,500, while a Class 4 felony carries between one and three years of jail time and a fine of up to $25,000.

Contact a St. Charles, IL Spousal Maintenance Lawyer

Alimony payments are vital and go towards essential items like housing, food, clothing, and supporting shared children. Major problems arise when these payments are not received, and you will need the guidance of a skilled Kane County, IL spousal maintenance attorney if your ex is not making payments.

At Shaw Sanders, P.C., we know how important it is that your spousal maintenance agreement is upheld. Our attorneys will provide you with personalized guidance as you pursue the payments owed to you.

Call 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.

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