What are my options if my ex isn’t paying the divorce settlement?

My ex was ordered to pay me a certain amount in our divorce settlements. He doesn’t pay what the settlement says, he pays bits and bits here and there and doesn’t follow the schedule or settlement. He claims he doesn’t have money and if I take him to court, he will just show the judge his financial statements that he doesn’t have money. The settlement says he should be done paying me in 5 months but he owes already in arrears. I don’t have money to hire a lawyer to sue him. What are my options.

Asked on April 20, 2017 under Family Law, Texas


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your only recourse is to pursue contempt of court against your ex.
You will need to file an Order To Show Cause to request a hearing.  Call the court clerk to schedule the hearing.  You should also file a declaration signed under penalty of perjury stating the facts in support of your contempt of court claim; for example, ex is not making the required payments set forth in the divorce decree, etc.  You should also include any documents that provide evidence in support of your contempt of court claim.  Attach a proof of service to the documents you are filing with the court.  Mail a copy of the documents you file with the court to your ex so that he will have notice of the hearing. The proof of service (court form) verifies the date of mailing your documents to your ex.
Check with the court clerk before filing your documents with the court to be certain that you have included all of the required documents for contempt of court because the required documents may vary from state to state.

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