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What Are the Consequences of Not Paying Alimony?

A divorce agreement often stipulates that one person has to pay their former partner spousal support, also known as alimony. If you are the payor, you cannot simply decide that you are not paying alimony anymore. There are consequences for skipping out on this obligation, and some are quite harsh. Instead of ignoring a court order, the smart choice is to contact our Morris County, NJ alimony and spousal support lawyers. We can tell you what legal actions you can take.

Will I Go to Jail For Not Paying Alimony?

It is actually possible to be jailed for not paying alimony. This is usually a last-ditch effort from the court though. The obvious problem with jailing someone is that it makes it a bit difficult for them to actually make their alimony payments or meet other financial obligations. So it’s likely that the court will try out some other punishments first, but it is smart to remember that prison time is a real possibility if you are not paying alimony as ordered.

What Are Other Punishments For Not Paying Alimony?

Your spouse can decide to bring you to court for not paying alimony. If they do this, the court is likely to punish you in some way and make an effort to get you to make your payments. You might have to:

  • Pay a fine
  • Have your wages garnished
  • Give up your driver’s license
  • Have a lien placed on your bank account or property

Then you will still be made to pay whatever you owe, plus interest. Trying to avoid this financial obligation is just never a good idea, but you do have options.

What Should I Do If I Can’t Pay Alimony?

If you are beginning to struggle to meet your financial obligations, simply not paying alimony is not the solution. This is only going to get you in trouble, and you’re just going to end up with a growing backlog of payments that need to be made eventually.

When you are struggling to pay alimony, you should take action. If you recently lost your job or suffered another financial hardship, you may be able to go to court to get the current alimony order modified. If you believe that you should no longer be paying your former spouse alimony, that is something you would also have to address in court. You cannot just stop making payments.

Talk to an Attorney Today

So if you have any questions about alimony and what to do if you cannot pay, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, L.L.C. and ask to schedule an appointment with our team. Our experienced attorneys can tell you more about your options and what you can do to avoid harsh punishments for nonpayment.