Once a marriage is terminated through the court, it does not mean a divorced
couple faces no more issues. Delayed or uncollected alimony or child support
often causes significant conflicts between divorced spouses in Georgia
just as elsewhere in the country.
According to recent U.S. Census data, a majority of former husbands do
not comply with their financial obligations after divorce. Compelling
an ex to pay alimony or support is extremely difficult. Because not receiving
child or spousal support is frustrating, qualified domestic relations
orders (QDRO) are increasingly used to compel ex-spouses to comply with
A QDRO can enforce spousal support through the collection of certain retirement
funds. In other words, this judgment, decree or order can allow one ex-spouse
to receive a financial settlement from the other ex-spouse's retirement
plan after divorce. A QDRO may include an ERISA plan, a pension plan and
a 401(k), but not an IRA. If the paying spouse fails to pay or intentionally
avoids paying child support or alimony, the court can collect the payments
from the benefit plan.
An alimony and maintenance trust is another important tool to ensure the
receipt of spousal support. Through this vehicle, the paying spouse transfers
assets to the trust, which then generates income. That income is then
used to pay the amount of alimony ordered by the court.
Most spouses rely on their own income after divorce. Life after divorce
can be financially challenging especially to a former spouse who gave
up his or her career because of marriage and child care, has difficulty
finding employment or has limited income.
Deferring spousal and child-support payments is unfair and constitutes
a contempt of court, which carries serious consequences. If spousal support
is delayed or an ex-spouse feels that the amount is unfair, then a legal
professional can usually help.