What if I Can’t Afford to Pay Alimony?

can't pay alimony

If you end up in a situation where you can no longer afford to pay alimony, you need to act quickly. Just stopping the payments can get you in serious trouble. Instead, you need to talk to a Tazewell County alimony attorney who can advise you on what you should do to meet your obligations.

Can I Be Punished If I Don’t Pay Alimony?

You can be punished if you do not pay alimony. Your former spouse can bring you to court and show that you have not paid. This is going to be rather easy to prove, and the judge is not going to be happy to see that you have ignored your obligations.

Someone who does not pay alimony as agreed can be held in contempt of court. This can mean fines and jail time. You could also have your license suspended or have liens placed on your property and other assets. None of these things are ideal. In fact, some of them, like going to jail, would obviously make it even harder to pay alimony!

Can I Change My Alimony Agreement?

This is why you need to avoid punishments by being upfront about what is happening. You need to file a petition to modify your alimony agreement. This shows that you are taking your obligation seriously and taking steps to address your recent financial issues.

You are going to need a good reason to modify your alimony agreement. If you cannot pay because you just bought a new luxury car or because you really felt like buying a new Playstation and in-home entertainment system, that’s probably not going to garner much sympathy from a judge. However, a change in your employment status, an injury, or an illness can all be valid reasons to adjust your spousal support payments.

What Evidence Can I Use to Show That I Can’t Pay Alimony?

The court is unlikely to just take your word for it when you’re having a hard time. If you want to adjust your spousal support arrangement, you are going to need to show the court some evidence. This can include:

  • Medical records
  • Notes from doctors
  • Notice from the state that you have been declared disabled
  • A notice from your employer that you were fired or laid off
  • Proof that you are looking for work

You can also argue that your alimony payments should be lower or eliminated entirely if your spouse has gotten remarried or has begun cohabitating with someone else. You would obviously need proof of this though.

Talk to a Lawyer Today

So if you are struggling to pay your alimony, address this issue as soon as you can. Contact Butler, Giraudo & Meister, P.C. and schedule a consultation. We can tell you more about your options.

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