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One recent report that may be of interest to readers in Washington notes that both child support and alimony payments are mandatory once they are ordered by a court during a divorce. If a parent who has been ordered to pay child support or a former spouse who must pay alimony fails to comply with the order, they face penalties. In some cases these penalties can include jail time.

In child support cases in Washington, an individual can face punishment if they fail to pay what has been ordered. The same can be true in instances of failing to pay other required amounts after a divorce, including alimony. In one recent case in another state, a man learned the hard way that his failure to pay would have consequences.

In that case, the man was ordered to pay his former wife $2,000 per month in alimony payments. He failed to make the payments, sending his wife back to court to seek assistance. The court in the divorce matter found that the man had the financial capability to make the mandatory payments, thus he was sent to jail until he paid at least one third of the total amount.

It is important for both parents to understand the potential penalties of not making full or complete payments. Both alimony and child support payments are required and cannot be changed without court intervention. In many instances, the monies paid to former spouses and custodial parents are necessary for the intended recipient to make ends meet. When a person finds that they have not received what they are owed by their former partner, they may benefit from a complete understanding of local laws as they decide how to obtain payments.