Can't Obtain Spousal Support From Your Ex? 2 Financial Assets You Should Know About

If you're an older divorcee whose ex-spouse refuses to pay you alimony, you may wonder if there's anything you can do to obtain your support. Spousal support is designed to help divorced people meet their living expenses when they don't make as much as their ex-spouses. Family law judges generally order spousal support before the divorce ends. However, your spouse may try to avoid their financial obligations to you, even with the order in full force. A family law attorney can help you obtain your spousal support in a number of ways, including these two below.

Wage Garnishment

If your ex-spouse still works or owns a company, a family law attorney can ask the court to garnish the spouse's wages to pay your alimony. Wage garnishment takes a court-ordered amount of money from another person's earned income and distributes it to you on a monthly or weekly basis. The court will order the ex-spouse to submit copies of their tax returns and paychecks for consideration.

If the person refuses to submit the correct paperwork, the court can legally obtain copies of the paychecks and tax forms directly from the ex-spouse's place of employment or the Internal Revenue Service. It may take a number of months before family court sends out your payments, because the court may need to recalculate the spousal support order. The ex-spouse's income may have increased or lowered since the original order. However, a family law attorney may try to speed up the process if you don't have any other financial help available. 

Retirement Benefits

Obtaining spousal payments from your ex-spouse's retirement fund or savings is another way for you to obtain your support, even if they still work. Family law allows individuals to tap into their ex-spouse's current and future retirement benefits through a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO.

The order guarantees that you'll receive spousal support every month, or when the ex-spouse's financial institution distributes the funds, by making you a designated beneficiary. The ex-spouse cannot change the order unless they return to family court. But in most cases, family court won't change the order unless you or your ex-spouse pass away.

Obtaining a QDRO can be tricky and difficult. It's a good idea that you go over the order and how to obtain it with a family law attorney immediately.

If you need more information about getting your alimony payments from the other person, contact an attorney like Hurth Sisk & Blakemore LLP  today.