Alimony Arrearages: A Matter of Contempt of Court and More

For some, the end of a marriage seemingly represents a never-ending saga. In some cases, disputes about children keep the friction going between formerly married couples. Meanwhile, alimony arrearages are yet another reason for post-divorce proceedings. The Court of Appeals of Tennessee at Nashville’s ruling in Patricia Gay Patterson Lattimore v. James S. Lattimore, Jr. provides some valuable insight concerning noncompliance with making alimony payments. Unfortunately, the parties have returned to court on multiple occasions since they divorced in 1994. When the trial court executed the divorce decree, it approved and incorporated the Marital Dissolution Agreement (“MDA”) signed by Patricia and James. The provision concerning alimony stated that James agreed to pay Patricia $4K monthly starting in June of 1996. (This represented an increase over the payments for the first couple of years.) According to the MDA, the alimony payments would go directly to…

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