How to Collect New Jersey Alimony in Arrears

by Angie Gambone
You must go back to court if your ex stops paying his alimony.

You must go back to court if your ex stops paying his alimony.

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If your ex-spouse has stopped paying his alimony or is not paying as much as he is supposed to, the past due alimony will accumulate into what is known as an arrears. In order to collect those arrears, you must file a motion with the court. This process can be somewhat challenging if you do not follow all of the steps. Once you file a motion, you must also attend the court hearing on the matter so a judge can determine how your ex will pay you the arrears.

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Completing a Motion Packet

Step 1

Complete a Notice of Motion and Notice to Litigants. These forms can be found on the New Jersey official court website or you can get a copy at your local courthouse. The notice of motion form lets the court know what relief you are seeking and informs the other party of the date the motion will be heard in court, which will be at least 24 days from the date the other party receives your paperwork. The notice to litigants explains to the other party how she can respond to the notice of motion.

Step 2

Complete a Certification. This is where you tell your side of the story. Explain your ex-spouse's history of nonpayment or underpayment of alimony. Tell the court how you want to resolve the matter. Include any proof, such as bank statements or canceled checks. Be sure to also include a copy of your divorce agreement so the court can review your ex-spouse's original alimony obligation.

Step 3

Complete a Proposed Order. This is a document where you explain your best-case scenario for how you want the judge to rule on your case. If the judge rules in your favor, she signs the proposed order and it becomes binding.

Step 4

Complete a Certification of Filing and Service. When you complete your motion packet, you must serve a copy on your ex-spouse by mail or in person. You must then provide proof to the court that you served her. The certification of filing and service is where you explain how you served your ex-spouse within the time required. If you served her by certified mail, attach a copy of the postal service receipt. If you served her personally, write down who served her, when and where.

Step 5

File your motion packet and supporting documents with the court. You must mail or hand-deliver your motion packet to the same court that issued your initial divorce decree. When you file your motion, include a cover sheet, titled Letter to the Clerk, and filing fee.

Attending the Motion Hearing

Step 1

Go to court on the day of your motion hearing. When you originally file your motion, the court will tell you when the hearing will be held and the name of the judge.

Step 2

Present your case to the judge. Tell your side of the story and answer any questions the judge may have. If your ex-spouse comes to court, she will be permitted to tell her side of the story as well.

Step 3

Receive a copy of the court order. After the hearing, the judge will issue a decision on the matter and provide you with a copy of the final order. You and your former spouse will be expected to follow any and all instructions set forth in the order.