Divorced men are more likely to meet their car payments than their child support obligations. –Susan Faludi, writer and journalist.
The divorce process can be long and difficult. It can be emotionally draining and taxing on all your relationships. Reaching an agreement for support that allows you to begin the next chapter of your life can be the light at the end of the tunnel. On the other hand, the light at the end of the tunnel could be another train coming in your direction: failure of your spouse to fulfill their new obligations.
This is a common problem
According to census figures, only 43 percent of custodial parents received all payments that were due. Nearly 31 percent received some, but not all payments, while nearly 26 percent never received a single payment. Some of the problems faced when spouses are not following through include:
- Enforcing obligations to pay spousal maintenance or child support
- Compliance with custody and parenting agreements, for instance custody schedules
- Non-payment of divided debts
- Failure to put the family home up for sale or refinance to remove the ex-spouse
- Improper division of assets
- Failure to divide assets
What do I do now?
If your spouse is not following through on their portion of the divorce decree, you are left with several options.
- You can wait: However, the above census data suggests you may be waiting a long time—and according to the same data, women were twice as likely as men to be living in poverty after the divorce.
- You can offer your planning expertise: It’s been stated that most divorce decrees are missing the action plan to help implement the divorce order. This step-by-step plan would spell out the necessary logistical actions (in order of priority), along with a timetable for achieving them.
- You can use your attorney: An experienced divorce attorney can help protect you when your spouse is not following through on their obligations or agreements.
When your former spouse fails to fulfill his divorce decree obligations, things may look bad and you may be feeling let down, but there is legal recourse—and there is hope. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”