Resolving Alimony Disputes
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What Are Alimony Disputes?
Alimony disputes are legal conflicts over the subject of spousal support. One the more common disputes is when the paying party fails to keep up with the required monthly payments. Other alimony disputes can involve:
- Disputes over the amount to be paid
- Concealing assets during divorce so as to receive a higher payment award
- Concealing assets in attempts to pay less
- Disputes involving children or other dependents
- Requests for terminating alimony payments
Alimony agreements should be supported by a court order so that they are enforceable by law. This will help prevent the occurrence of disputes in the long run. Thus, if the parties are contemplating a support agreement, they should submit it to the court for approval.
How Are Alimony Disputes Settled?
Resolving alimony disputes is much easier when there is an existing court-order support document. That way, the court can simply reference the existing documents and determine which party may be at fault. In cases where it isn’t so clear who is at fault, the court may need to examine other documents, such as:
- Bank account statements
- Receipts for major purchases
- Pay stubs or other employment documents
- Verification of receipt for major gifts and donations given to a party
Sometimes, the solution to a dispute lies in modifying alimony payments. This can help the parties reach a compromise, especially if there has been a "significant change in life circumstances" in either of the parties.
In serious cases of non-payment, a damages award may be required in order to help make up for the plaintiff’s losses. If the paying party refuses to make payments, the court can sometimes order a lien to be placed on their property. Also, a contempt order can result, as well as criminal consequences for repeated court violations.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Assistance with Alimony Issues?
Alimony or spousal support can often involve some fairly complex legal issues. You may wish to hire a lawyer for assistance if you need help with an alimony claim. Your lawyer can help explain your rights and can also represent you in court during a lawsuit. Every state has different alimony laws, but your lawyer can help make sure your interests are being protected.
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Last Modified: 04-07-2014 09:00 AM PDT
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