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Wheaton divorce attorneysAfter a divorce, one spouse—usually the lower-earning spouse—may be entitled to financial support, which is commonly referred to as “alimony” or “spousal maintenance.” Illinois courts consider different factors to determine whether spousal support is warranted. If maintenance is found to be appropriate, the court typically uses a specific formula to determine the amount and the duration of the payments. In some cases, a spouse may refuse to pay or become delinquent on support payments, but there are laws governing this area of divorce.  

What If a Former Spouse Does Not Pay?  

When an ex-spouse does not make court-ordred maintenance payments, the former couple will likely have to go back to divorce or family court. The person not receiving payment must show the court evidence that his or her ex-spouse has not made any payments, has not made full payments, or has not made timely payments. Hard copy documentation of late or partial payments can be proof in explaining how this has caused financial difficulty. 

If the non-paying spouse continues to disregard the court’s order to pay, the judge may implement a charge of contempt of court against the former spouse, requiring him or her to go before another judge. A second judge may order the non-compliant spouse to pay the support to the ex-spouse in addition to court costs for the contempt case. If this second order is not obeyed, a person can face fines and jail time. 

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