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Legal options when ex does not pay required maintenance

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2023 | Family Law

Divorce brings many changes, including financial adjustments. Courts often order spousal maintenance to help financially support the lower-earning spouse.

However, if your ex-spouse neglects this obligation, it can create financial strain and uncertainty.

Legal recourse

According to a survey, 22% of couples divorce because of money issues. Unfortunately, money problems can continue post-divorce. When an ex-spouse fails to pay spousal maintenance, initiating legal proceedings through Indiana courts is crucial. You can:

  • Negotiate a repayment agreement
  • File a petition with the court
  • Present evidence of missed payments, such as bank statements or communication records

The court may then issue an enforcement order requiring your ex-spouse to make the payments.

Wage garnishment

Indiana law allows for wage garnishment to provide consistent spousal maintenance payments. The court can deduct the specified amount directly from your ex’s paycheck. This process ensures automatic and timely payments. Garnishments for child support do not require a court order.

Liens and asset seizure

If wage garnishment proves ineffective, Indiana courts may explore other measures. Placing liens on the delinquent party’s property or seizing assets can satisfy the unpaid spousal maintenance.

Contempt of court

Persistent non-compliance with spousal maintenance obligations may lead to a finding of contempt of court in Indiana. A court may impose civil or criminal penalties, depending on the circumstances. These consequences can include additional fines or jail time.

Understanding and utilizing the state’s legal options is crucial when you do not receive court-ordered spousal maintenance payments. You have a right to safeguard your financial stability after your divorce.