What happens when there’s a failure to pay alimony?

When a couple’s marriage comes to an end, the chances are high that one spouse will have to pay support to the other. In Illinois, the consequences for the failure to pay alimony can be severe if the payor is in default for several months or more. If payors know they’re going to miss a payment, the best thing to do is to notify the payees as soon as possible to make alternate arrangements. Restitution should be made for any payments missed.

There are times when alimony payments aren’t made simply because the payor forgets. In these cases, the payor could voluntarily have his or her wages garnished, the sum of which would go to the payee. By the same token, either the payor or payee can ask the court to set up a garnishment schedule.

If the payor has fallen on hard times and just doesn’t have the money to make alimony payments, he or she could ask the payee for a modification to the payments. Some agreements, however, can’t be modified. The payor or payee could also ask the court for an alimony modification.

Failure to pay alimony in Illinois could result in fines, a contempt of court charge, the loss of a driver’s license, loss of property and other assets, and even jail time, among others. Deliberately refusing to pay could severely impact the lives of the payor and the payee. When in doubt, speaking to an attorney about the options available regarding alimony payments might be a wise step.

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