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Ex-Wife Asks Court To Garnish Ex-Husband’s Discretionary Trust To Pay Her Alimony


If there is ever a time to be thankful for the fact that you have never owned any property to speak of, it is when you get divorced.  No matter your tax bracket, if the court orders your ex-spouse to pay alimony, there is a good chance that your ex put up a fight.  Still, if you are a member of the 99 percent, and your monthly alimony award is in the hundreds instead of the thousands, the threat of garnishment of your ex’s paycheck (work is how the 99 percent get their money, after all), is usually enough to get your ex to pay up, or at least to start the discussion about lowering the alimony obligation to an amount your ex can afford.  Alimony for the one percent is a whole different story, however.  Not only do the wealthy have bigger alimony obligations, they also have more money and more free time to find inventive ways to get out of paying alimony.  If your ex-spouse can afford to meet their court ordered alimony obligations but willfully refuses to pay, contact a Boca Raton alimony lawyer.

You Know You’re Rich When a Trust Fund Pays Your Alimony

You know things are going to get interesting when the judge begins the ruling by quoting a poem, and in this case the court decision quoted the poem “Marmion” by Sir Walter Scott, first published in 1808.  The line goes, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”  Bruce and Roberta divorced after 30 years of marriage, and Bruce remarried sooner after.  Bruce and Roberta agreed in their marital settlement agreement that Bruce would pay Roberta $16,000 per month in permanent alimony, and he fulfilled this obligation for the first four years after the divorce became final, but in August 2011, he suddenly stopped paying.

When one spouse willfully stops paying court-ordered alimony, the other has the right to garnish the paying spouse’s income.  In this case, Bruce’s income came in the form of payments from a discretionary trust, and the bank in charge of the trust agreed to the garnishment.  Bruce argued that discretionary trusts are protected from garnishment, but the court ruled that this protection does not apply to unpaid alimony obligations.  Bruce then set up a new trust (the life insurance trust) and transferred his property to it.  After expressing shock, in poetry to less, about the lengths Bruce went to as far as avoiding his alimony obligations, the court ordered continued garnishments of the trusts.

Contact Schwartz | White About Alimony in High Net Worth Divorce Cases

If your ex promises to pay you alimony but has a history of lying to you, it’s time to get a lawyer involved.  An alimony lawyer can help you collect the alimony due to you before you get mixed up with multiple trusts and poetic justices.  Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.



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