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What If Your Ex Won't Pay Alimony?


Alimony, or spousal support, is a court-ordered payment that one spouse must make to the other after a divorce. It is designed to provide financial assistance to the spouse who earns less income, so they can maintain a similar standard of living as during the marriage. Unfortunately, some ex-spouses refuse to pay alimony, leaving the other spouse in a difficult financial situation. So what should you do?

1. Document the Non-Payment

Before taking any legal action, it is essential to have proper documentation of the missed alimony payments. Keep a record of each payment that your ex-spouse has missed, including the date it was due and the amount owed. This documentation will be crucial if you need to go to court to enforce the alimony order.

2. Contact Your Ex-Spouse

Before escalating the issue, try reaching out to your ex-spouse to discuss the missed payments. It is possible that there has been a misunderstanding or a temporary financial issue that can be resolved without legal intervention. Communicating with your ex-spouse may help you resolve the issue more quickly and amicably.

3. Consult an Attorney

If your ex-spouse continues to refuse to pay alimony, it is time to consult with a family law attorney. An experienced attorney, like the team at Rech Law, P.C., can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process of enforcing the alimony order.

4. File a Motion for Contempt

If your ex-spouse is not complying with the court-ordered alimony payments, you can file a motion for contempt with the court. This motion asks the court to enforce the alimony order and hold your ex-spouse in contempt for not complying. To file a motion for contempt, you will need to provide the court with evidence of the missed payments, such as your documentation and any relevant communication with your ex-spouse.

5. Collecting the Alimony Payments

Once the court has found your ex-spouse in contempt, there are several methods available to collect the overdue alimony payments. Some of these methods include:

  • Wage garnishment: The court can order your ex-spouse's employer to withhold a portion of their wages to be sent directly to you for alimony payments.
  • Seizure of assets: The court can order the seizure and sale of your ex-spouse's property to satisfy the alimony debt.
  • Income tax intercept: The court can intercept your ex-spouse's income tax refund to apply it toward the overdue alimony payments.

It is important to note that these collection methods will vary depending on your state's laws and the specifics of your case.


Dealing with an ex-spouse who refuses to pay alimony can be incredibly frustrating and financially challenging. By following the steps outlined above and working with an experienced family law attorney, you can enforce the alimony order and collect the payments you are owed.

If you are in the Charlotte, NC area and need assistance with alimony enforcement, contact Rech Law, P.C. today for a consultation.

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