Family Law Spousal Support

Enforcement of Alimony Orders

People fall behind on alimony payments for a lot of reasons. The impact on those receiving the payments can be extreme. Here’s what to do if your spouse fails to make your alimony payments.


If you are not receiving the alimony payments the court ordered to be paid to you, try to find out why. Is it the result of job loss? Or an injury that has caused a reduction in income? If this is the case, you might consider working out a plan of action with your spouse to help recover the lost alimony. You might want to work with an attorney to help draft an agreement, to ensure that you’ll eventually receive the alimony payments.

Avoiding Alimony Payment

But if your spouse is just avoiding their court-ordered obligation, then you’ll need to seek legal help. A motion will need to be filed with the court, asking a judge to order your spouse to pay the past payments, as well as a promise to keep up with the future payments. An experienced family law attorney can draft a persuasive legal motion as well as represent your interests in court.


Courts are able to dole out a number punishments or fines for delinquent spouses. They tend to vary from state to state, but for the most part, a court will allow the following:

  • Holding a spouse in contempt, which can lead to fines and possible jail time.
  • Income withholding, during which the delinquent spouse’s employer is required to withhold the alimony amount from the delinquent spouse’s paycheck and send it directly to the spouse receiving alimony.
  • Writ of Execution. This is when a judge awards a portion of the payor spouse’s bank accounts and other assets to the receiver spouse.
  • If the amount owed is substantial, you can ask the court to issue a money judgment for the total amount owed along with interest.

Contact a family law attorney that can help you file a legal action to enforce alimony. A lawyer will be able to ensure you receive the money that is owed to you.

Source: Divorce Net, Enforcing Alimony Orders, 2014

Divorce Law LA, Esq.

Divorce Law LA

33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202

Pasadena, Ca. 91106

(626) 478-3550