Tools that might avail divorcing spouses with support concerns

Last updated on April 8, 2021

Are you a divorcing woman in Georgia or elsewhere who harbors more than a mere suspicion that your soon-to-be ex-husband is going to be less than dependable when it comes to court-ordered payments?

Such payments centrally attach to matters like child support and alimony. For obvious reasons, it is critically important that such payment obligations are attended to in a timely and consistent way following divorce. When they aren’t, material and dire financial challenges can arise.

Is there a judicial mechanism — a tool — that can be used to help ensure full and timely support payments from former spouses who are otherwise likely to only partially honor — or not honor at all — judicially ordered payment duties?

It turns out there are several, and use of them can help bypass what one family law commentator calls the “middle man,” namely, the ex-partner who is invoking post-divorce headaches.

A QDRO (qualified domestic relations order) is one such tool that merits attention in some cases. A judge can issue such an order to tap the company-sponsored retirement accounts of an ex-spouse to satisfy divorce payment obligations. A QDRO operates like a lien on those accounts to ensure payment.

Another tool of potential applicability is called an “alimony and maintenance trust.” Pursuant to that vehicle, a paying spouse deposits assets into a trust during the divorce process that generate income to be used following divorce that are earmarked toward support obligations. The obvious benefits of that include a continued income stream following divorce even if an ex-partner’s wages fall.

Confidence regarding the timely and full receipt of support payments is a core concern of many divorcing spouses. A proven Georgia family law attorney can provide relevant input and help ensure the best interests of a divorcing party with support-related concerns.

Source: Forbes, “How to get your ex-husband to honor the financial terms of your divorce settlement,” Jeff Landers, Feb. 19, 2014

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