Has Your Spouse Stopped Paying Alimony or Child Support?

Interviewer: What are the consequences if a paying spouse is either late or stops paying either alimony or child support?

Tanya: That is one of the reasons why the Property Settlement Agreement or Court Order calls for payment through Probation. You have a state collection agency working for you. If the person is chronically late, does not pay or does not pay for a long time, Probation keeps the accounting and the court can impose penalties. If support is not already being garnished from the person’s wages, they can do that.

They can take away your driver’s license. They can throw you in jail. They can take away your professional license. So if a person is a doctor or a lawyer or has some other license and he decides not to pay child support or alimony, the court can remove the license. Probation can take the payor’s tax refunds and can also prevent the payor from getting a passport.

Interviewer: Are child support and alimony treated equally in terms of the severity of non-paying? Is child support worse, or the same?

Tanya: Child support is worse and more common. But again, the court will look at the needs; and they have the discretion to penalize the person for failing to meet his obligation. They can take assets and sell assets of the obligor. They can levy against other assets. The record of the delinquency does not go away. A judgment can be entered for the unpaid amounts which can affect a person’s credit. There are many enforcement mechanisms which are used.