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Serious consequences for spousal support default

People who are facing divorce in Ohio are also facing the fact that they could be responsible for making monthly payments to support an ex-spouse. Short-term marriages, or marriages where earnings are nearly equal may not be required to make spousal support payments, however, it is generally required for long-term marriages where one spouse earns significantly more than his or her partner.

A New Jersey couple that was married for 17 years divorced, and now the ex-husband is facing difficulty making alimony payments. The two had four daughters together, and while the ex-husband attests he is current in child support payments, he has defaulted in his spousal support obligations because he cannot afford them. As a consequence, the ex-husband was incarcerated, and must remain jailed during evening and weekend hours unless he pays $25,000 toward the $233,000 he owes his ex-wife.

It is during non-weekend, daytime hours that he leaves his jail cell to fulfill his court ordered work-release program duties. The ex-husband formerly had an affluent career as a portfolio manager on Wall Street, but was working part-time in an entry level financial position prior to his incarceration. His earnings from the part-time job are far less than they were when the two were married.

Although divorce nullifies the union between two partners, there are often legal obligations former partners must meet—monthly payments to financially support an ex, being among them. When people face life changes that might merit modification of alimony payments, they may find legal counsel from an experienced attorney helpful.

Source: Bloomberg, “New Jersey ex-husband fighting alimony denied release,” Sophia Pearson, Sep. 9, 2013

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