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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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  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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