Options You Can Take When Your Ex-Spouse Stops Paying Child Support…

The family court takes the payment of child support and alimony seriously. Very seriously. And a spouse who fails to pay without a valid justification can get in big trouble financially. Despite both parties coming to an agreement in order to finalize a divorce, that doesn’t mean they will uphold their end of the bargain. If your ex-spouse or the other parent fails to pay child support in Kentucky, the family court can help. The non-paying parent will be issued papers with instructions to meet in order to set up a payment arrangement.

Getting the Court Involved

As a technical matter, you can make these requests with a Motion for Enforcement, a Motion for Contempt, or a Motion for Order to Show Cause. In both cases, you are asking the Court to use its powers to fix the problem. If a party fails to follow the instructions on the paper, jail time could be a consequence. the court has the ability to order your ex to pay a fine and attorney’s fees to you for having to hire a lawyer to fix the problem. Sometimes your ex learns his or her lesson, and the problem never happens again. This is what you hope for because jail time is unproductive since then the ex will not be able to work to make any sort of payment.

The following are common instructions to recover child support payments…

  • Garnish Your Ex’s Wages – Similar to an income withholding order, you can request a garnishment of your ex’s wages or other money such as bank accounts.
  • Ask For The Sale Of Pre-Existing Assets – In certain circumstances, you can request the Court order your ex to liquefy assets in order to pay the alimony and/or child support award.
  • Ask For A Lien On Property – What if your ex has money in real property and money is not available to garnish? You can ask the Court to put a lien on the property.
  • Withhold Federal Tax Refunds
  • Suspend a Business License
  • Suspend Driver’s License

Next Steps If The First Try Doesn’t Work

If your ex fights you in court or attempts to underestimate his or her earnings you can request an income and expense declaration. Sometimes, a former spouse will ignore the request for a current Income and expense declaration. If this occurs, the Family Code provides that if there is no response within 35 days, or if the Income and Expense Declaration is incomplete as to any wage information, or if pay stubs and income tax returns are not attached, then the requesting party may serve a Request for Income and Benefit Information directly on the employer of the other party. The non-responding party may also be sanctioned by the court for his or her failure to comply with the initial request. As much documentation as you can provide such as pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, and any records which provide the income and capital of the other party is to your advantage.

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About Grubbs & Landry

At Grubbs & Landry, PLLC, we are dedicated to personal and friendly service. We manage our practice in an ethical, cost-effective manner to best help our clients resolve their legal issues with the least expense possible. We pride ourselves in advocating for our client in divorce, child custody, and child support matters as well as other family law matters. We are active in prosecuting personal injury cases-recovering for the injuries our clients sustain due to the negligence of others. Additionally, we help our clients prepare for the future through the preparation of Wills, Power of Attorney and Living Will.
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