This can be one of the most frustrating challenges after a divorce, primarily because you have taken all the smart steps, created a budget and made a plan that allows you to grow, progress and create your own financial security post-divorce. That can all change in an instant due to your ex-spouses poor decision making. But since you know your ex well, you can plan for that contingency as well. The ideal way is to never count the alimony as part of your budget, or to make a financial plan that takes it out of your budget as soon as possible. That way, you can take care of yourself and set that money aside for a rainy day. It puts you in the position of no longer relying on your ex, but investing the financial benefits of your long-term marriage investment.
If your ex stops paying, you can seek out enforcement of that support order through the process of an order to show cause. Essentially, you are asking the court to compel your spouse to comply with the decree. You show to the court that your ex knew about the order, had the ability to follow that order, and has chosen to not follow the order. At the hearing, the court will usually enter a judgment against the non-compliant ex. The law requires the ex to complete community service. The court may impose jail time, but typically stays that time to give the ex a chance to change his behavior. He may also have to take some class to help him understand why paying his alimony is important. A contempt finding also generally results in an order that the non-paying ex pay some you back some or all of your attorney fees.