Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Spousal support: How to ensure payments are received

Feelings of negativity and resentment often accompany the end of a relationship. After the divorce process, an ex-spouse may not honor the payments ordered by the court, leaving the person who is supposed to receive the money in a difficult position.  Reasons for nonpayment may vary, from pure spite due to negative feelings to falling on hard financial times, or pressure from a new spouse or romantic partner.

Fortunately, there are a few guidelines which could assist those in New Jersey entitled to alimony payments to make sure they are not left in financial constraints. Some of the steps can be taken before the divorce is finalized and some afterwards. First, in order to ensure that alimony is part of the divorce decree, it is important that the spousal support agreement is properly filed with the court.

An ex-spouse is entitled to place a lien – a legal right on the property of a person until the person honors his or her legal duty --  on some of the assets of the ex until the legal duty is met. It is also possible to insure against the possibility of illness or disability by insuring against disability. Disability insurance acts as a safety net. It is also possible to arrange for a monthly deduction of the alimony payment from the paycheck of the ex-spouse to ensure regular payments.

After the divorce is final, a New Jersey family law lawyer can assist when an ex does not make the payments ordered. A court can put significant pressure on the ex-spouse not making the ordered payments. This means the person could be held in contempt of court, and it may even result in jail time if the court order is ignored.  

These tips may help in keeping a clear head about spousal support. Along the way, the advice and guidance of an experienced attorney may prove invaluable. A New Jersey family law lawyer can provide seasoned legal advice to help smooth the process and the transition to a new life.

Source:, "Post-Divorce: Ensuring that Spousal Payments Arrive", Accessed on July 5, 2017

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