Dear Penny, how do I get my ex husband’s $10,000 in overdue child support payments? | Business

Dear Penny,

I was married for 20 years and worked until I had children. We divorced and I went back to work, but I was only making about a quarter of what my ex was making at the time of the settlement.

Things were going well until my ex changed jobs about two years ago and told me he would have to pay me less child support but would make up the difference with his year-end bonus. Two years later and that hasn’t happened.

I wrote to him saying I thought it was time to make up the missing payments (now well over $10,000). He informed me that he would like to, but he is now unemployed.

I would consider that, apart from the fact that he is now living with his girlfriend. They have renovated their house, travel by plane several times a year, eat out several times a week, drive nice cars, take family vacations every year and have season tickets to local events.

I just have to get my house in order. do i have options If I have to wait for him, can I sue his estate?


Dear A,

It is possible to file a claim for unpaid child support against a person’s estate when they die. But you would have to come to terms with other creditors and there may be nothing left to pay your claim. Also, I don’t want you to have to wait that long to get your $10,000 and it’s counting.

Your ex-husband is violating a court order by not paying you the alimony that was part of your divorce agreement. But there are a few things I would like to know here.

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I’m not sure if your ex-husband is currently paying child support but owes you $10,000 from missed payments two years ago, or if he stopped paying altogether after changing jobs. Also, do you think your ex-husband is sitting on a pile of cash to finance his sweet life with his girlfriend? Or is it more likely that he really doesn’t have much money and his girlfriend makes enough to pay for everything?

Finally, you have to set a deadline. Let your ex know that if they don’t start paying, you have no choice but to hire a lawyer and take them to court. The consequences of non-payment of court-ordered child support payments can be severe. Depending on the state, they can include liens, property confiscations, garnishment of wages, and even prison terms.

However, it’s probably better for both of you if you can avoid going to court. If he’s currently making some payments, maybe he could raise a few hundred more dollars each month to start catching up. Even if he is unemployed, he could probably earn some extra money with this nice car, e.g. B. if he drives for Uber.

But if your ex shows no signs of paying you, by all means, take him to court. However, keep in mind that if his financial situation has changed, he may be able to ask a judge to change his payment. It is important that you speak to an attorney about your strategy.

I suspect your ex-husband is less afraid of you than he is of a judge. Maybe he’ll be more motivated to dig his way out of this hole if he thinks you’re serious about bringing him to justice.

Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and senior writer at The Penny Hoarder. Send your tricky money questions to

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website empowering millions of readers across the country to make smart decisions with their money with actionable and inspirational advice and resources on making, saving and managing money.

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