When Your Ex Fails to Pay Spousal Maintenance

In some cases, even after a court orders spousal maintenance, the paying spouse fails or refuses to pay.

In the event that you find yourself in such a situation, what are your options? First of all, it is important to understand that since spousal maintenance is court-ordered, a failure to pay is a direct violation of the law. As the receiving spouse, the court has agreed that you need and deserve spousal maintenance.

Should your ex fail to make payments, the following methods of recourse are available to you:

  • Professional license suspension — If your ex is a doctor, lawyer, therapist or any other profession that requires state licensure, under Minnesota Statute § 518A.66, when certain circumstances are met, you may enforce a spousal maintenance order by having his or her professional license suspended.
  • Driver’s license suspension — Another effective way of enforcing spousal maintenance is to have the obligor’s driver’s license suspended. This method may be used when maintenance debt is equal to or greater than three times your ex’s total monthly maintenance payments.
  • Income withholding — If your spouse is employed or receiving income, you may seek to have funds withheld.
  • Tax refund interception — Yet another common method of enforcing supposal maintenance is to intercept an obligor’s tax refund.

In many cases, certain criteria must be met before enforcement methods such as these may be used. For more information on enforcing spousal maintenance in Minnesota, contact an experienced divorce lawyer today.

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