Qualified Alimony Enforcement Lawyer in Clark, NJ
Assisting Clients with Enforcing Alimony Agreements and Orders in Union County and throughout New Jersey
One of the many issues to resolve in a divorce is support. While child support is an obligation parents owe to their children, a judge does not always grant spousal support or alimony in a divorce. An alimony award rests on one party’s need for support and the other party’s ability to pay for it. A party’s need is a question of many factors, including the lifestyle the parties maintained as married people and the party’s work history claiming need, among others. If the requesting party establishes the need for support and the other party’s ability to pay, they may get an alimony award by order of the court or by agreement of the parties. But once a judge awards alimony to a spouse or the parties enter into a binding agreement, the other must pay or suffer the consequences of violating an order.
If your ex or soon-to-be-ex is not paying alimony or not paying according to the terms of the order or agreement, you should seriously consider speaking with and hiring a family law attorney. Your attorney can file the necessary paperwork with the court to enforce your spousal support agreement. At The Law Offices of Edward S. Cooper, Esq, we often help clients enforce support orders and agreements throughout Union and Middlesex such as Carteret, Cranbury, North Plainfield, Berkeley Heights, and Jamesburg. Call (908) 481-4625 for support with your case.
How is a Motion for Alimony Enforcement Handled in Elizabeth, NJ
A motion for enforcement, contempt, or enforcing litigants’ rights for alimony is the vehicle for bringing the matter to a judge for decision. The motion asks the court to enforce the alimony by ordering the obligated party to pay all outstanding alimony payments and the attorney fees of the supported spouse. Had the obligated spouse paid as ordered or agreed, the motion would be unnecessary. Thus, a judge may order attorneys’ fees, given the supported spouse’s need for financial support. In addition to back support, the judge could order the defaulting party to pay future payments on time. They can also issue a bench warrant for the arrest and jailing of the non-paying spouse.
Garnishment as a method for Alimony Enforcement
Along with the motion, you may seek a wage garnishment, which is the most common method of alimony enforcement. With a wage garnishment, the obligated spouse’s employer directly pays the supported spouse’s support amount. The payment comes from the employee’s wages, so the supported spouse is not reliant on the payor spouse paying on time or at all. That may be the best way to get current alimony paid and the past-due support amount over time. However, an employer may take only a certain percentage of an employee’s pay by garnishment per pay period. Thus, the outstanding alimony may or may not be satisfied through wage garnishment. Even if they no longer work, you can garnish their social security or retirement pension payments. But there are other methods of execution.
For example, the court may sign an execution order to sell property to satisfy the outstanding debt. Following the order, the local sheriff may seize the obligor’s possessions, like their boat, car, art, jewelry, or other items, and sell them. A judge can issue a writ of execution aimed at the obligor’s bank accounts, CDs, stock portfolios, or mutual funds to extract the alimony from the obligated party’s accounts if the other party knows where their ex keeps their accounts. And a judge may order the defaulting party to pay or lose their professional license. A judge can revoke a professional license, like a physical therapist, psychologist, or other doctors. And if your ex is a hunting and fishing fan, the judge can revoke that license as well as their gun permit.
Motion for Contempt
If none of these methods yield compliance because the ex-spouse hides their assets, you can always file a motion for contempt. Here, you can ask the court to hold the defaulting spouse in contempt of court and jailed until they pay the outstanding alimony. Since this is an extreme measure, a family court judge may not order the non-paying party incarcerated at the first contempt hearing. However, they might order the party jailed after the first or second contempt hearing once it is clear the ex does not intend to pay even after a court order and several more opportunities for them to pay. Then, law enforcement may haul the non-payor away to jail in court or arrest them at home or work.
Judgment for Monies
Finally, you can ask the court to enter a judgment for monies your ex owes you. After tallying the arrears plus interest and attorney’s fees, a judge can enter a money judgment. With an entered judgment, you get a lien on your ex’s real property. When your ex tries to sell the property, they will have to pay the lien off. Not only that, but the judgment appears on your ex’s credit report, so they may pay you or suffer the consequences of a poor credit rating. Not only might they pay higher interest rates on auto and other loans, but they may not qualify for credit they need for home or business. As a result, it may cost them more to not pay you than to pay you the current alimony and arrears.
How can an attorney help me in the process for obtaining unpaid alimony in New Jersey?
Although the process is complex and best handled by an experienced family lawyer with a background in alimony enforcement, you do have several pathways to getting your alimony paid. Filing the right paperwork, asking the judge to order what you need to get paid, and then executing your orders and judgments can be complicated. Fortunately, you have family law attorneys to help you figure it all out and move forward in the best manner possible.
If you live in Cranford, Middlesex, Summit, Carteret, and surrounding towns in Central New Jersey, get in touch with Mr. Edward Cooper to discuss your options for enforcing outstanding alimony payments
Mr. Edward S. Cooper, Esq, can assist you with every aspect of your case. We can gather the information we need from you to locate your ex’s assets and file the motion to enforce the alimony order or, if necessary, contempt of court motion. Having spent years successfully advocating for clients in family law matters, our attorneys know how to get your papers filed and in front of a judge. We will accompany you to court hearings, advocate for you at every turn, and then assist you in finding ways to get your ex to pay. You already proved your need for support. Now, you can enforce your alimony order to get what they owe you, plus whatever you are out of pocket in having to force your ex to pay what is rightfully yours.
If you think you need to share your specific situation with Mr. Cooper to get professional legal advice on how best to proceed with your case, and are located in Roselle Park, Summit, Rahway, New Providence, Hillside, or any other place near our local office in Linden, New Jersey, complete our online form or call us immediately at (908) 481-4625 for assistance with your case. We are located at 812 North Wood Avenue, Suite 303 Linden, NJ 07036.