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When an ex fails to make spousal or child support payments

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An ex-spouse in Texas has the right to legally enforce a court order to collect any unpaid alimony and child or spousal support that was not received. In an example circumstance, an executive residing in McKinney, Texas, failed to make his mandated monthly spousal support payments to his ex-wife. Through their divorce decree, the former music-industry mogul was ordered to pay his former spouse $13,500 each month for support. As reported by the Dallas Observer, when those payments stopped, his ex-wife sued in Collins County and asked the court if she could sell his sailboat as a means to collect on his past-due support commitments.

While it may not always result in a devastating setback to receive an occasional late payment, serious harm could result when anticipated and much-needed financial support stops altogether. To collect on unpaid support, a spouse may need to take civil action and report their ex for being in contempt of a court order.

In some cases, a judge may issue a wage garnishment to withhold support payments directly from an ex's weekly paychecks. A judge may also place a lien on a former spouse's property. If an individual is genuinely unable to make payments due to a financial hardship, applying for a modification of the support order may be necessary.

Under certain circumstances, a single parent may be working full-time and struggling to support children who rely on the additional income from an ex-spouse to provide for food, school and medical care. Accordingly, an individual who fails to make their spousal or child support payments as ordered may face serious legal consequences. The Attorney General of Texas provides more information on how the state enforces an order for child support.

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