Arrearages

When spousal maintenance goes unpaid it doesn’t just disappear.  This is a contract, ordered by the courts and obligor must pay or else.  Not only does the debt collect interest, late fees and collection cost but you can land in jail.  San Antonio courts take spousal maintenance serious because very few people actually qualify.

I offer free consultations 7 days a week, so if you are owed and your ex is deliberately avoiding paying call my office immediately.  Many times I can take these cases on contingency, meaning you don’t pay us until you collect.

Sec. 8.058.  MAINTENANCE ARREARAGES.  A payment not timely made constitutes an arrearage.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 807, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Sec. 8.059.  ENFORCEMENT OF MAINTENANCE ORDER.  (a)  The court may enforce by contempt the court’s maintenance order or an agreement for the payment voluntarily entered into between the parties and approved by the court.

(b)  On the suit to enforce by an obligee, the court may render judgment against a defaulting party for the amount of arrearages after notice by service of citation, answer, if any, and a hearing finding that the defaulting party has failed or refused to carry out the terms of the order.  The judgment may be enforced by any means available for the enforcement of judgment for debts.

(c)  It is an affirmative defense to an allegation of contempt of court or the violation of a condition of probation requiring payment of court-ordered maintenance that the obligor:

(1)  lacked the ability to provide maintenance in the amount ordered;

(2)  lacked property that could be sold, mortgaged, or otherwise pledged to raise the funds needed;

(3)  attempted unsuccessfully to borrow the needed funds;  and

(4)  did not know of a source from which the money could have been borrowed or otherwise legally obtained.

(d)  The issue of the existence of an affirmative defense does not arise unless evidence is admitted supporting the defense.  If the issue of the existence of an affirmative defense arises, an obligor must prove the affirmative defense by a preponderance of the evidence.

(e)  A court may enforce an order for spousal maintenance under this chapter by ordering garnishment of the obligor’s wages or by any other means available under this section.