Once a divorce is finalized and support payments are established, both partners work towards moving on with their now separate lives. Unfortunately, if a former spouse granted court ordered alimony or child support stops receiving payments, his or her ability to move forward is severely hindered. Adults who are granted temporary or permanent alimony are often in a situation that makes obtaining employment difficult and receive cash payments or payments made to creditors on their behalf. Child support payments are meant to provide mutual children financial stability comparable to what they experienced prior to the dissolution of their parents’ marriage or relationship. Being aware of what you should do when support payments fall behind may help you navigate an extremely stressful situation.
Communicate with Your Ex
After support payments begin to fall behind, reaching out to your ex-spouse is often the fastest way to find out why the payments are not being made. In some cases, especially if the support order was recently granted, a delay of two weeks or one month may have an innocuous cause. The ex-spouse may need to set up an allotment or garnishment to pay the support out of his or her paycheck automatically, or the ex-spouse could be waiting for instructions from child support enforcement. Finding out if the payments are late because of paper work, job loss, or an emergency can give you a better idea of how to handle the situation and when payments should resume.
Make Back-up Plans
Even when child support or alimony payments fall behind due to an unforeseeable emergency rather than a deliberate refusal, it could still take your ex-spouse a while to get caught up on the payments. During that time period, your expenses are not going to go away nor are the costs associated with raising your mutual children. Focusing on finding ways to pay for things that are pressing and creating a plan B in the event the situation reoccurs in the future is the best thing to do. Limit your monthly expenses in all possible ways such as reducing utility usage, canceling memberships, or canceling other unnecessary things that require a monthly payment, and reach out to friends or family members. Asking for help when you do not receive the support to which you are entitled can be stressful and embarrassing, but it is important that you do whatever you can to keep your household running until payments resume.
Contact Your Attorney
Reaching out to an attorney is something that many adults hate to do, but it is necessary if your ex-spouse shows no signs of discussing the lack of payments with you or doing anything to resume making them. An attorney familiar with alimony and child support is able to help you understand your options while providing you with a realistic overview of what to expect. In some situations, a qualified attorney can help you find effective ways to enforce your orders.
Vayman and Teitelbaum
The attorney you select to represent you is the person who will ultimately help you receive the payments to which you are entitled. The attorneys at Vayman and Teitelbaum are able to provide you with the advice and assistance you need based on your unique situation. Contact us today and schedule a consultation at one of our four offices conveniently located in the Atlanta metro area.