What Happens if a Spouse Doesn’t Pay Alimony in Louisiana?

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Most divorces aren’t the bitter and petty battles television often depicts, but this doesn’t mean they are always amicable. In most instances, divorces can be civil, in which both parties are respectful. Unfortunately, one of the most common issues following a divorce occurs when one spouse doesn’t pay alimony. If this reflects your circumstances, you’ll want to keep reading as the following blog explores your legal options and how a Monroe, Louisiana alimony lawyer can help you through these complicated matters.

How Is Alimony Determined?

One misconception regarding alimony is that it will automatically be awarded to the lower-earning spouse. However, this is far from the truth. When a couple divorces, whether or not it’s a mutual decision, alimony will be requested in the divorce petition. If the couple cannot agree on an amount, the judge will determine how much the spousal support payments will be. As such, they will consider the following factors:

  • How long the couple was married
  • Each spouse’s income
  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • Whether or not one spouse sacrificed their career to support the other
  • If additional education or training is necessary for a spouse to pursue a career
  • How much each spouse contributed to the marriage, financially and domestically

It’s also important to note that Louisiana is one of few states that will consider infidelity when awarding alimony. This means if a partner is unfaithful to their spouse, they will be barred from collecting alimony.

What Happens if Someone Doesn’t Pay Alimony?

When a spouse does not pay the court-ordered alimony, understanding how to proceed is critical. However, it’s necessary to understand that in Louisiana, when a spouse has fulfilled their alimony obligations and owes past-due spousal support, this is referred to as “arrears.”

Your attorney can file a motion with the court to have your spouse pay the funds you are owed. Additionally, the law states that arrears will gain interest at a rate of 10% per year, meaning you can collect additional fees for your ex-spouse’s late payments. If you still aren’t paid for the funds you are owed, their wages may be garnished, and they can be held in contempt of court for violating court orders.

It’s important to understand that there are some instances in which a court order can be modified. For example, if the paying spouse loses their job or you move in with a new romantic partner, they can have their alimony payments modified or stopped. However, they cannot stop paying or pay less than you are owed without court approval.

If you’re struggling because your spouse is not paying alimony when they should be, the team at Breithaupt, DuBos, & Wolleson, LLC can help. We understand how frustrating these matters can be, which is why we’re ready to assist you. Connect with our firm today to discuss your circumstances.

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