If you are getting a divorce and were the breadwinner in the marriage, the judge may order you to pay your spouse alimony for a certain amount of time. Having to pay alimony can be a frustrating ordeal, especially if it’s a high amount. If you lose your job or get diagnosed with a serious illness, you may even struggle to pay alimony at all. It’s important to talk with an experienced Frisco, Texas family law attorney and to let the court know about your situation as soon as possible. If you just stop paying altogether, you could face some serious consequences, including:
If you haven’t been paying alimony, one of the first things a judge may do is take the money out of your paychecks. The judge will instruct your employer to withhold the alimony amount from your paycheck and send it directly to your spouse. This guarantees that the alimony is paid on time every month. If you don’t currently have a job, the judge may order you to look for one.
Driver’s License Suspension
Failing to make alimony payments could also cost you your driver’s license. Child support agencies frequently report who hasn’t been paying child support to the Division of Motor Vehicles. Your driver’s license could get taken away until you have caught up on your alimony payments. Not being able to drive can make your like a lot more difficult, especially if public transportation isn’t available in your area. You will have to rely on family and friends to get to work and other important places.
If you haven’t been making your alimony payments, a judge can also seizure your assets, including real property and bank accounts, to pay the alimony.
Inability to Obtain Passport
The court can also prevent you from obtaining or renewing a passport if you haven’t been making your alimony payments. This means you won’t be able to travel out of the country for work or leisure.
If all other methods to getting alimony payments have failed, the judge may issue a warrant for your arrest. The amount of time you have to spend in jail will depend on your jurisdiction. Being in jail means that you can’t work, which can put you even further behind on your payments.
What To Do If You Can’t Pay
If you can’t pay alimony due to a job loss or another legitimate hardship, you should inform the court as soon as possible. They will need some sort of proof that you are indeed experiencing a hardship. For example, if you lost your job, you should bring your termination letter.
Thanks to Scroggins Law Group for their insight into family law and what happens when you don’t pay alimony.