Elkouri Heath, PLC


39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

What You Should Know About Spousal Support

 Posted on November 18, 2022 in Divorce

Novi alimony enforcement lawyerSpousal support awards, also known as alimony, are not terribly common in most divorces in Michigan, but they can occur, and people should be prepared to deal with them. While spousal support is never mandatory while spouses are separating and figuring out their new lives, it becomes mandatory as soon as there is a final court order, and a paying spouse will have to pay as ordered, regardless of their personal feelings.

Whether you are seeking spousal support payments or are being asked to pay spousal support, you will want to be sure that you hire an experienced attorney who will know how to negotiate the outcome that is most favorable to you. Michigan Compiled Law § 750.165 establishes that repeated failure to pay spousal support is a felony offense punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

Obtaining Spousal Support from Non-Paying Spouses

It is not uncommon for one spouse to refuse to pay spousal support because they may already be paying a significant amount of child support. Whatever the reason for their issue might be, the law clearly stipulates that people who are ordered to pay spousal support must pay it on time without exception.

When a party is continually refusing to pay spousal support, the spouse that should be receiving payments can file a motion to ask a judge to review their case and order the ex-spouse to pay the full amount owed and comply with the order by making all future payments. There can be other ways to enforce alimony payments when another party is not complying with a court order. 

  • Income Withholding — When it comes to income withholding, also known as wage garnishment, an ex-spouse's employer will take a designated amount owed out of that spouse’s paycheck. Garnishing wages ensures that spouses receive the full amounts they are owed on time before an ex-spouse can even receive their funds. Employers only implement income withholding requests after a court order is in place and appropriate forms are completed.
  • Contempt of Court — Failure to pay spousal support as ordered by the court means an ex-spouse can be held in contempt of court. At a hearing, the court hears evidence as to why a spouse should be held in contempt, and when a judge agrees, an order could be issued that includes fines, jail time, attorney's fees, and other sanctions.
  • Writ of Execution — A writ of execution is an order a court issues that allows the personal property of a spouse to be seized and sold with the proceeds of the sale going to pay past-due spousal support. A writ of execution can also be used to collect money from a spouse's bank accounts.

Contact a Novi, MI Alimony Lawyer

Are you trying to negotiate a suitable spousal support agreement but coming up empty? Get the Oakland County spousal support attorneys at Elkouri Heath, PLC on your side because we know how to help people achieve the best possible agreements for their circumstances. Attorneys Susan Elkouri and Symantha Heath have been assisting clients throughout Oakland County for more than two decades. Call 248-344-9700 or contact us online to receive a free, no-obligation consultation. 




Share this post:
Oakland County Bar Association State Bar of Michigan Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan WCCDBA Woman Lawyers Association of Michigan
Back to Top