Enforce Illinois Alimony Orders

Hold an ex-spouse in contempt of court if spousal maintenance goes unpaid.

Marital settlements are not informal agreements but court-ordered. This means if either party is found to be violating the agreement they will be held in contempt of court, such as if one spouse is refusing to pay alimony to the other spouse. This is a serious offense that won't end up with a slap on the wrist, but with fines and/or jail time. Those who choose to foolishly and willfully hide new circumstances or fail to pay may even be held in criminal contempt.

Depending on the severity of the wrongdoing and the circumstances, the offending party may also be required to reimburse court costs and other damages. In instances where one party is found in contempt of court, fines are typically levied instead of jail time as the violations don't often warrant that severe of punishment.

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These punitive actions won't happen automatically, and the first step to take when you find a spouse has violated their court order is by filing a contempt of court action. Beginning this process is easy if you have an attorney, but if not having a quality family attorney on your side can make all the difference in reaching a resolution.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I stop paying alimony?

If you stop paying alimony, the other party can file a motion to enforce payment. This leads to the court making sure you pay alimony by doing things like garnishing wages. If you think the alimony is unfair, use our alimony calculator or call Sterling Hughes to get another opinion.

What happens if you don't pay alimony in Illinois?

If you don’t pay alimony in Illinois, the court can punish you by garnishing wages, jail time, and fines.

Can you go to jail for not paying alimony in Illinois?

Yes, a party can go to jail for not paying alimony. This is usually done as a last resort because it can lead to people losing a job. And, people don’t really make money in jail.

How do you enforce a maintenance order?

You do not enforce a maintenance order yourself, the court enforces it for you. As mentioned above, this is done through garnishing wages and other punishments.

References: Contempt of Court