My ex is refusing to pay court-ordered support. What can I do?

When a divorce is finalized, a divorce decree outlines essential information about the court’s decision. A divorce decree is an enforceable Order of the Court that both parties are legally mandated to follow.

Order’s generally include the payment of child support, spousal support, transfer of property, and specific child visitation schedules. Unfortunately, too often, parties neglect or elect to ignore the outlined orders. This can greatly harm the spouse, who is dependent on support. While the penalties to the offending party for these transgressions can be severe, the spouse being affected is required to file a claim to make the court aware of the transgression. To compound matters then will need to pay an attorney to collect money, so they often suffer a loss of income and an increase in expenses.

A contempt of court charge can be filed against a transgressor in violation of a court order if certain conditions are met. These conditions should at a minimum include:

  • a valid Court Order.
  • Clear evidence of a failure to make payment.

Penalties will vary on a case-by-case basis. However, common penalties include the payment of fines, legal fees, and even jail time.

If you feel your ex-spouse is in violation of a Court Order, you need an attorney who understands Rhode Island Family and Divorce law. Some individuals attempt to resolve issues directly with their former spouse. However, any agreement made may not be enforced by the Courts if it is not memorialized in a formal Court Order.

If you have questions and would like to speak with a reputable Massachusetts family law attorney, please contact our office.