Man jailed for falling behind in spousal support

There are certainly some situations in which individuals in Alpharetta should get alimony: when one spouse makes far more or has a much higher earning potential than the other, alimony may be a helpful tool to make sure the spouse who earns less is not immediately thrown into poverty by his or her divorce. Granted, alimony, which is also known as spousal support, should be awarded with care, as changing how much is owed in spousal support can be quite difficult.

If the spousal support award is too high, it is also incredibly easy to fall behind in payments. In some cases, it may even be possible for a judge to jail someone who is behind on his or her alimony, which is what happened to one man who struggled to afford the nearly $100,000 he owed to his ex-wife in spousal support and child support each year.

The man apparently lost his job and has had a difficult time getting back to work. He once was a portfolio manager on a Wall Street firm, but he now works part-time as an entry-level stock agent. His wages are garnished to cover his alimony and his child support, but he has also fallen $233,000 behind in his payments, leading to a family court judge jailing him as part of a work-release program. While he is free to leave during the day for work, he must spend his nights and weekends in jail.

This story is from New Jersey, yet there have been similar stories of men and women jailed in Georgia for failing to make child support or spousal support payments. When court-ordered payments get out of control, it seems many counties are willing to severely punish hard-working adults trying to make ends meet.

Source: Bloomberg, “New Jersey Ex-Husband Fighting Alimony Denied Release,” Sophia Pearson, Sept. 9, 2013

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