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Enforcement of Alimony
My ex-husband refuses to pay me any alimony as required by our divorce settlement. What steps can I take to enforce the payment of my alimony?
There are many reasons why an ex-husband could fall behind on his alimony payments. He may have lost his job, suffered medical problems, his business could have collapsed, or he simply does not have the energy that he once had to "scrap up" the money to pay you. In many cases, the animosity between ex-spouses is so great, that many potential clients advise me that they would rather go to jail than pay alimony. Nonetheless, if you blow off your alimony obligations, then this is a violation of a court order, and you will be held in contempt of court.
If your ex-husband refuses to pay you alimony, then simply begging him to pay is not the answer. You will have to file a motion to enforce the payment of your alimony. This type of motion is called a contempt motion, an enforcement motion, or a motion to enforce litigants' rights. You can request some very "heavy" type of penalties in these types of motions. You can request that alimony should be garnished, you could request that your ex-husband's professional license(s) be revoked, you can request that his weapon permit or hunting and fishing license be revoked, you could request a writ of execution on his bank accounts, finally you could even request that the court send your ex-husband to jail. Finally, you should also seek counsel fees from your ex-husband for the fees incurred in filing the motion.
What other steps can I take to collect my back due alimony payment?
There are many legal remedies that you can pursue to collect your alimony arrears. Some of the most common remedies include:
In order for permanent alimony to be awarded in New Jersey, the marriage must have lasted at least 10 years and one spouse must have become economically dependent on the other. This type of alimony allows the obligee to maintain the lifestyle to which he or she has become accustomed for the duration of the obligor's lifetime (unless the obligee remarries).
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