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For Texans who have gotten divorced, there may be a sense of relief that the process is complete and they can move forward. However, in many cases, there are support considerations at play and these can grow concerning if they are not paid on time and in full. Failure to pay spousal maintenance (depending on the circumstances, also referred to as spousal support or alimony) can cause problems for the person who was supposed to receive the payments and lead to legal challenges for the obligor. Understanding how to address these concerns from both perspectives is key and a legal professional may be able to help.

How enforcement for spousal maintenance will be implemented in Texas

State law has certain steps it will take to enforce a maintenance order and it protects both parties. The obligor could be held in contempt based on the court order or an agreement the sides came to on their own. People who are receiving payments might be under the impression that they will automatically be protected with state intervention if the payments are not made, but if the parties agreed to an order and the amount went beyond what the court would have ordered, the court may not enforce payments beyond what it would have ordered had it made the determination. This is true for the amount and duration.

The obligor can defend against allegations of failure to pay maintenance if he or she can show that they did not have the ability to make the payments in the amount ordered; did not have sufficient property to use to accrue the funds to make the payments; tried and failed to borrow funds to pay; and was unaware of a source from which he or she could have acquired the money legally.

Consulting with an experienced family law firm can help with maintenance issues

With the current landscape across the United States, income has reduced and people are facing inordinate roadblocks in making ends meet. This is true for those who have significant assets and, in the past, might not have had a problem making their spousal maintenance payments. When a person is not receiving their payments or a supporting former spouse is unable to make the payments for whatever reason, it is important to have legal assistance to avoid the potential penalties and to address the issue. Consulting with a legal firm that understands high-asset divorce, maintenance and other aspects of family law may be crucial.