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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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my ex wifes lawyer entered a court order for direct payment

Customer Question

my ex wife's lawyer entered a court order for direct payment by my employer after the divorce was finalized. that was done behind my back the day after the divorce papers were signed off on. the agreement while we were in the courthouse was that I would pay directly. it was never communicated to me by anyone that this took place. My ex wife stole my mail for the next 6 months by forwarding the whole family's mail to her address and did not change until I threatened with police.

how can they get a court order for 'garnishment' without my lawyer telling nor me being in formed nor anything ???//
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

I am genuinely sorry to hear that you are in this situation. A garnishment order is not an order that requires notice. Here is why:

Garnishment only takes place where there is a judgment out against you. One a judgment is obtained, you are required to make the payments, and the judgment holder can ensure that those payments are made based on the terms of the agreement. In your case you have a legitimate argument that if language in your order designates otherwise, the other party is in violation and use that to take her back to court and remove the order. But otherwise the order is valid provided that the funds were not paid as granted by the language in the decree.

Your situation is somewhat more serious since the other party is intentionally interfering, so taking her to court may not just be wise but be essential in this case. It may also permit you to remove the garnishment order out against you.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the only reference in the divorce papers were that SDU would be used. nothing about going directly to my employer. in addition to this as I was not aware of this happening I was giving the ex a check every month for the same sum which she took with no comment. and cashed some.

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your follow-up, Dan.

Oh, I see, so you ended up overpaying also?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes. she kept some of the checks uncashed. she has not returned them. they went behind my back and my lawyer did not tell me either.


Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 4 years ago.


Thank you for your follow-up. Obtaining a direct payment via garnishment is not really against the law, and your attorney, at least as far as that goes, had no legal obligation to inform. If the language is absent in your decree, a garnishment is possible as it would not violate the language or the clauses in the agreement.

Having said that, keeping the checks is simply theft and fraud. Take her to court and demand that she return the funds, or get the judge to allow you to withhold payments until the benefits she kept and your obligations match. This is no longer a simple misunderstanding but it is an intent to defraud, so dragging her back to court for contempt and for a formal order is not just in your best interest, it is the best option for you based on her past history and her current behavior.

Good luck.