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What happens if I don't pay alimony?

Alimony is a type of court-ordered support payment that is awarded to one spouse at the finalization of a divorce. Otherwise known as spousal support, it has similarities with child support but tends to be less strongly enforced.

However, those who have been ordered to pay alimony have a legal obligation to do so, and if they fail to keep up with payments, they could be set to face serious consequences. The following is an overview of what happens if you don't pay alimony, and what you should do if you can't afford to pay.

What will happen if I don't pay alimony?

Child support is strongly enforced because the courts want to ensure that every child is provided for financially. This means that those who do not pay child support could be denied a drivers' license or be subject to wage garnishment as a result. This is very unlikely to happen if you fail to pay alimony, however. If you fail to pay alimony, the recipient could go to court and start a contempt proceeding, which could lead you to being forced to make a payment.

What should I do if I can't afford alimony?

No-one should be forced to pay alimony that they can't afford. If your financial situation has recently changed, you should take immediate action to apply for the modification of the support, provided that your agreement is not "non-modifiable".

Make sure that you are proactive in your approach if you want to prevent getting behind on spousal support payments due to a recent change in your financial situation.

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