Unpaid Spousal Support

A temporary spousal support was ordered by the Court until we go back to court. However, my spouse has not made any payments. He claims he cannot pay the amount or pay. He resides in another state or whereabouts maybe unknown now, does that matter? What needs to happen next to get him to pay amount ordered? Is garnishment an option? Does it matter if his income is from VA benefits? What do I need to do if both parties may no longer have a lawyer? I had to get loans to try to maintain expenses, can the court implement or add on these expenses?

If there is an order requiring your spouse to pay support and he has not paid it, then you can file a motion for order to appear and show cause (contempt motion) to force compliance of the order. He can be fined or jailed for willfully violating the court order.

You would serve him with the order and any show cause/contempt motions at the address in which he was served unless he has notified you and/or the courts of a new mailing address.

His wages cannot be garnished for postseparation support (temporary spousal support).

VA benefits can still count as income.

You would proceed the same whether you have a lawyer or not. The clerk’s office or family court office in your county may have forms for you to fill out for a motion for order to appear and show cause and motion for contempt.

The fact that you had to get loans to pay your expenses help strengthen your argument for holding him in contempt of the court’s order.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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