When a couple divorces, one spouse is often required to pay money to support the children (child support) and/or the other spouse (spousal support or alimony). Unfortunately, getting an award for support and collecting it are two different things entirely.
It’s up to the spouse receiving the money to make sure that the money is being paid and to take action if it is not. Courts in California will not step in automatically. If your ex-spouse isn’t paying, then you or your attorney can ask the court to deduct support payments from their paycheck; this is called “wage garnishment.”
Maybe wage garnishment won’t work because your ex-spouse is unemployed or self-employed. Then the next step would be to seek to collect the amount owed from your ex-spouse’s bank accounts or from a forced sale or his or her other assets, such as stock or real estate.
Spousal and child support awards are given after thoughtful analysis by the court and based on conclusion that you need the support and that your ex-spouse can afford to pay it. If your ex-spouse is truly unable to make the payments, then he or she can ask the court to reduce the award. If the payments turn out to be inadequate and your spouse can pay more, you can ask the court to increase the award. Until the court modifies the award, any missed payments are still due in full, but only in the amount previously awarded.
If your ex-spouse has assets or income, and if you have been awarded alimony or child support but have not been able to collect it, Minella Law Group’s knowledgeable and experienced attorneys can help you. We can seek a court order to let us collect the amount owed you from your ex-spouse’s income or their property. We can also prepare a financial statement and file for a modification with the court if the payments simply aren’t enough anymore. If your ex-spouse is falling behind in spousal or child support that they can pay, or you feel that an increase in support is needed, please call Minella Law Group today at (619) 289-7948 to schedule an appointment.