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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Man could go to jail for failing to pay alimony

When couples in Texas marry, they likely never envision a time when they will no longer want to be in a relationship together. However, as times passes, relationships change, and a decision may be made that a divorce is in the best interest of both people. There are, at times, strong emotions entangled with the dissolution of a marriage, sometimes making matters regarding property division contentious and ongoing. In fact, one out-of-state man faces imprisonment after he allegedly failed to pay his ex-wife alimony.

According to court records, the former couple has a history of contentious proceedings. Although a businessman, the 69-year-old man, has filed several bankruptcy petitions over the course of the last nine years. In one order, a bankruptcy judge concluded that although the man claimed he did not have sufficient funds to pay his wife alimony, he was able to purchase a townhouse valued at $675,000 and pay for upgrades to his home.

The court ordered the man to pay his wife approximately $375,000 by Dec. 2016 or face incarceration. After that date passed, a warrant was issued for his arrest. He has since filed for bankruptcy again, but the automatic stay issued upon the bankruptcy filing has been released with the judge calling the man's attempt to avoid paying his wife egregious.

In some cases, a person's obligations to his or her former spouse do not come to an end upon the signing of a divorce agreement. If a spouse is ordered to pay alimony or child support, that obligation must be met. Failure to do so can result in serious consequences, including the possibility of arrest and imprisonment as this man now faces. If a person in Texas is unable to meet his or her legal obligations, a request for modification can be made. Judges will often take a significant change in circumstances under consideration when such a request is made.

Source:, "Former local businessman facing arrest in back alimony payments", Jason Raven and Joseph Gill, March 28, 2017

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