There was a time you believed your marriage would stand the test of time, so much so that you willingly sacrificed your dreams of building a career to raise your child as a stay-at-home parent.
Unfortunately, your marriage eventually breaks down. Now, you’re at the mercy of financial dependence on your ex-partner. But what happens if your ex-partner doesn’t comply with court orders?
Following the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, spousal maintenance weighs a couple’s circumstances to ensure that whoever has a lower source of income will receive support from the other to maintain their living standards until they’re self-sufficient again.
But if your paying ex-spouse deems the court’s decision unfair, they may refuse to make either monthly or lump sum payments. When this happens, they violate a legally binding spousal maintenance order.
If you have sufficient supporting evidence to prove your claim, they will be in contempt of court with the following repercussions:
- Seizure of bank accounts
- Garnishment of wages, tax returns and other income streams
- Suspension of driver’s license
- Additional interest to the total award
- Extension of spousal support duration
Your ex-partner’s court violation may also result in a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment and fines if they intentionally refuse to pay for a minimum of six months and have at least $5,000 in arrears.
Further, they may attempt drastic measures, like leaving the state or the country, and deliberately becoming under- or unemployed. On top of nonpayment for at least a year and at least $20,000 in arrears, these evasive tactics result in a felony charge punishable by significant prison time.
Advocating for your future
Without spousal support, your future may hang in the balance. A legal advocate who understands the urgency of your concerns can collaborate with you in addressing matters about your present and future needs.