When you got divorced, the judge issued an order requiring your spouse to pay alimony and child support. But, despite the judge’s order, your former spouse has stopped paying, and now you cannot afford to pay for your child-related expenses, and you cannot pay your bills when they come due. What are your legal rights, and what can a McKinney family lawyer do to help?

Enforcing Alimony and Child Support in Texas

If your former spouse has stopped paying alimony or child support (or both), you have clear legal rights under Texas law. The order the judge issued to end your marriage is legally binding – on you and your former spouse – and there are serious consequences for violating a court order.

However, nothing will happen automatically. If your former spouse has stopped paying, it is up to you to enforce your right to payment. While there are self-help resources available from the Texas Courts, it is generally best to hire a family lawyer to represent you. Not only can a family lawyer determine your best option for enforcing your former spouse’s payment obligations, but your lawyer can also file all necessary pleadings and communicate with the court on your behalf. If you are struggling financially, you may not be able to afford to take chances, and hiring a lawyer is the best way to make sure that you receive the relief you deserve as quickly as possible.

In terms of the relief that is available, the Texas Courts have several options for compelling former spouses to pay the alimony and child support they owe. For example, depending on your particular circumstances, some of the options that may be available to you include:

  • Garnishing your former spouse’s wages
  • Obtaining a charging order against your former spouse’s business
  • Redirecting your former spouse’s tax refunds
  • Suspending your former spouse’s professional or occupational license
  • Placing liens on your former spouse’s assets

In some cases, non-payment of child support can also result in a jail sentence—and the threat of jail time can be a strong incentive for many people to start paying what they owe.

If Your Former Spouse Has Stopped Paying, You Are Entitled to All Past-Due and Future Payments

Importantly, if your former spouse has stopped paying alimony and/or child support, not only are you entitled to have your payments resume, but you are entitled to all past-due payments as well. These are referred to as “arrears.” When seeking enforcement, it is important to make sure that you accurately calculate the full amount you are owed, and this is something with which an experienced McKinney family lawyer can help as well.

Speak with a McKinney Family Lawyer for Free

Do you need help enforcing your right to alimony or child support (or both)? If so, our McKinney family lawyers can help. To learn more in a free and confidential consultation, please call 214-726-1450 or contact us online today.