Establish a "Fall Back" Account

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2009

You must have a "fall back" bank account if you receive child support and alimony, as there is no guarantee that you will receive your support every week or month on a timely and full basis. Even with an income deduction order, your former spouse can quit their job, or if they pay you without an income deduction order, they can stop paying you at anytime (even though your court order states otherwise.)

Once your former spouse stops paying you, you will have to pay an attorney (or seek the help of the Department of Revenue) to pursue contempt remedies (jail) against your former spouse. Due to the financial shortfall of funds for Judges, it can take several months to process your contempt claim. If your former spouse does not have any assets, the Judge cannot throw the him or her it jail. If no jail, there is not incentive for your former spouse to pay you. However, if you former spouse has assets, the Judge should send him or her to jail, order immediate payment of all past due support, and order reimbursement of your attorney fees and costs. Your former spouse can get out of jail by paying what Judge ordered him or her to do.

You must have money set aside to support yourself and family. Make it a priority to set aside a "Fall Back" bank account and hope you never have to access it. A skilled attorney can present valid reasons to a Judge to not jail your former spouse. If you former spouse is not thrown in jail, it may empower him or her to not pay you in the future. Be safe rather than sorry.