Tools To Ensure the Collection of Child and Spousal Support


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 support orders.

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.

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