How do I get my ex-husband to pay money owed in the divorce settlement?

UPDATED: Aug 27, 2011

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How do I get my ex-husband to pay money owed in the divorce settlement?

My ex-husband was supposed to pay an amount toward our debt and keep up the payments on the house. He has done neither and now my credit is ruined. How do I get him to pay? He is also behind on child support and moved out of the state.

Asked on August 27, 2011 South Carolina


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should file  with the court an Order to Show Cause requesting enforcement of the court orders/divorce settlement and a supporting declaration.  Your declaration signed under penalty of perjury would state the facts that your ex-husband is not complying with the terms of the divorce settlement; is not making the required payments toward your debt, the payments on the house, and is behind in child support.  When you file an Order to Show Cause, the court will set a date for a hearing on these issues.

You should attach a proof of service to the documents you file with the court.  The proof of service verifies the date of mailing your documents to your ex-husband.  You can either use a court form proof of service or you can write your own.  If you write your own proof of service, it just says that you are over 18 and the attached documents were sent via first class mail unless stated otherwise to _______ (name and address of ex-husband) on _________ (date).  You sign at the bottom under penalty of perjury.  The date you sign should be the same as the date of mailing and the same date you file your documents with the court.

If your ex-husband fails to comply with court orders, he can be subject to civil or criminal penalties.

You might want to request a wage garnishment in the documents you file with the court to be certain that your ex-husband will pay his financial obligations.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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