Man in reduced circumstances jailed for missing alimony

On behalf of The Walters Law Group, Ltd. posted in Family Law on Tuesday, September 17, 2013.

A family court judge has ordered that an ex-husband mired in financial difficulties remain confined to a work-release program where he must spend his nights and weekends in jail. In order to secure his release, the man must pay a lump sum of $25,000 toward more than $233,000 of spousal support that he owes his former wife. Jailed at least eight times in the past two years for missing child support payments, the man formerly worked as an investment portfolio manager. Job losses and the weak U.S. economy caused him to run through his savings in his attempts to pay his e-wife almost $100,000 in support payments.

This case highlights situations faced by many divorced couples where the spouse providing alimony and child support payments under the original divorce agreement has lost a job and/or now has significantly reduced income. Current alimony and child support laws in many areas of the United States do not allow for a downward modification in payments, even though income may be reduced.

The man in question is now working part time as an entry-level stock transfer agent and has had his wages garnished by the courts for the past 18 months to pay his ex-wife, who says she has had to work multiple jobs to support their children. A movement is underway to change support laws to provide structured reviews when determining an ex-spouse’s ability to pay.

Difficult and changing financial situations such as these may be challenging issues to deal with during divorce, alimony and child support discussions. As Illinois laws may have the potential to reflect these possibilities, an experienced Chicago area divorce and family law attorney may be able to give clients advice on the best way to proceed for their children.

Source: Bloomberg, “New Jersey Ex-Husband Fighting Alimony Denied Release“, Sophia Pearson, September 09, 2013