When you get divorced, you depend on the alimony provided by your former spouse. That alimony may not be permanent, but you need the support for the time being. Sometimes former spouses don’t want to pay alimony and simply stop doing so. Some claim they lost their job, while others may have quit. One of these is a good reason to modify alimony payments, the other is not.
How Alimony is Determined
During your divorce proceedings, the court will look at several factors to determine if alimony is right for your situation:
- How long the marriage lasted
- Your need for alimony
- Your former spouse’s ability to pay
- The earning potential of both of you
Alimony isn’t typically meant to completely support you. It is a necessary piece to getting your life back after your divorce, though. When your former spouse suddenly stops paying alimony, it can make your life very challenging.
Reasons to Modify Alimony
There are many reasons to modify alimony payments. Some of these include:
- Involuntary job loss by the payor
- Reduction in salary of the payor
- Your increase in earning
No matter the reason to modify alimony payments, the court must be involved. Neither spouse can modify alimony payments without court approval since the payments are determined in the final divorce order. If your former spouse has voluntarily quit their job, that is not a reason to stop paying alimony. The court would call this voluntary unemployment. Because this was a decision made by your former spouse, the court will not grant a reduction in alimony payments.
File a Petition to Enforce
If your former spouse has quit their job and stopped paying alimony, you need to file a petition to enforce alimony payments. You’ll need to show that your former spouse voluntarily quit their job and, as a result, not receive a reduction in their alimony payments.
A skilled lawyer, like a divorce lawyer from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, can help you gather the evidence you’ll need to provide to the court. The court will review your information and make a decision on how to proceed with enforcing the alimony payments. The court may hold your former spouse in contempt and provide you with a judgment that will allow you to place a lien on their assets to make sure you receive the alimony to which you are entitled.
Contact a Lawyer for Help
By letting the court know your former spouse has stopped paying alimony, they can take action on your behalf. You are entitled to the alimony and the best way to ensure you get it is to notify the court. That’s why it’s so important to choose a skilled and trusted family law attorney to stand by your side and protect your rights. Contact an attorney today to get started with a no obligation consultation with an experienced team.