How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102506
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My fiance is currently behind on Maintenance (alimony) in Kansas.

This answer was rated:

My fiance is currently behind on Maintenance (alimony) in Kansas. He was let go from a job that was very profitable, and was able to lower his child support to reflect that. However, the Alimony was deemed non-modifiable. He is current on child support and makes payments towards the alimony, but just doesn't have enough to cover it with his current paycheck. Can he be held in contempt of court or arrested if he is making payments, but still continues to fall behind because of his financial situation?
Hello, my name is Ely. Welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not necessarily to tell you what you wish to hear. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I reply.

I am very sorry for your fiance's situation. Can you please clarify - what do you mean by the fact that the alimony was deemed non-modifiable? Do you mean he tried to modified as he did with the child support, but the Court refused?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes. He filed a motion to modify both the Alimony and Child support. However, in his divorce decree there are points stating that the Alimony can only be modified for 3 reasons:


Ex-wife Marrying, the time span of the order running out (he was ordered to pay for 39 months), or the death of either him or his ex-wife.


Because of this, his motion was only sustained in part, and they lowered the child support but not his Alimony (also called Maintenance in his decree).

Thank you, Brandi. So it is not that the alimony is non-modifiable (which actually may mean something else), but that he has not proven to the court the "change in circumstance" that is required to modify alimony. Lambright v. Lambright, 740 P. 2d 92 - Kan: Court of Appeals 1987.

I understand; thank you for the clarification.

Can he be held in contempt of court or arrested if he is making payments, but still continues to fall behind because of his financial situation?

Technically yes, although the standard for arrest is much higher. With child support payments, the Court tends to be very forceful with its orders and can rev up the contempt to include imprisonment. While this is true with alimony as well, contempt normally simply holds admonishment, and an order to make up the amount via a payment plan. The Court will generally wait until brazen/malicious/continuous non-payment of alimony before jail.

So yes, he can be held in contempt I am afraid, but generally simply edged to make up the amount by the Court in most situations. The Court generally imprisons those in contempt only if they can but refuse to make payment. If he can show that he is doing his hardest to make payment, the admonishment of the Court is mostly limited to warnings and an order to catch up, only, in regards XXXXX XXXXX

Surely, you prefer that I tell the truth rather than what you wish to hear. Because it reflects very poorly on me unless you press one of the top three faces, keep this in mind when rating my and please do not punish me for being honest. I understand that this may not be easy to hear, and I empathize.

IMPORTANT INFO: I hope this finds you well. Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and SUBMIT, because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects negatively on me as an expert, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups free after rating.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No, thank you. I appreciate the honesty. I needed to know whether or not her threats of "punishing" my fiance, or going after my income should Ray be arrested were valid before deciding how to handle the situation.

Thank you.

Of course, my pleasure. You are very welcome. Good luck, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then SUBMIT – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you.
Ely and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you