What can I do if my husband was ordered by the court to pay maintenance but has stopped?

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2011

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What can I do if my husband was ordered by the court to pay maintenance but has stopped?

The maintenance has not been the amount agreed with the Court and has recently stopped and I have little money to feed the both of us or help pay the bills. What can I do?

Asked on August 3, 2011 Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You can bring a legal action to enforce his obligation. If he does not pay what he is required to, he can potentially be thrown in jail ("contempt of court") until he does. Maintenance is not optional or discretionary; once ordered, it must be paid. (If your husband has suffered some economic reversal--e.g. lost a job--so he can't pay, his recourse is to go back to court and seek an order modifying the amount he has to pay.)

If you can't afford an attorney to help you, try Legal Services; try also  any single parent or divorced woman support or advocacy groups, who may have access to some resources to help you. Good luck.

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