Alimony Checks Not Being Cashed

Jodee Redmond
If your checks aren't being cashed, you may need to find a different payment method.

The problem with alimony checks not being cashed may not come up often, but you certainly don't want to accused of not making your payments as ordered. You need to be able to prove that you have been living up to your obligations and here are some suggestions that will help:

Reasons Why Alimony Checks Not Being Cashed

There are a few reasons why your alimony checks are not being cashed.

Your checks are going to the wrong address.

Make sure that you are sending your payments to the correct address for either your former spouse or the agency that is collecting your support payments.

The checks are not cash-able because they are stale dated.

A check is stale dated if it is not cashed within a reasonable length of time, which is usually between three and six months. After that point, some banks will still honor the check, so you can't assume that if a certain period of time has passed that the funds will not be taken from your account. (If you find yourself in this situation, don't simply write a new check for the payment. Ask for the stale-dated check back first so you don't end up making two payments for the same month's alimony.)

How to Prove That You Have Been Making Your Alimony Payments

If you are accused of not making your alimony payments as ordered, you will need to be able to show the Court that you have been doing so. Don't send your alimony checks through the regular mail; you won't be able to track it and confirm that it has been delivered.

Instead, send your alimony payments by Priority Mail or Certified Mail and ask that you be notified of the date and time the envelope was delivered. The United States Postal Service offers a service where you can access this information online.

Certified Mail

You may be interested in these extra services available if you send your alimony payments using Certified Mail:Restricted Delivery: If you choose this option, the envelope will only be delivered to the person you specify in your instructions (your former spouse or another person you indicate in writing who can take delivery). In this way, you will have proof that the alimony check was delivered as ordered.

Return Receipt: A Return Receipt is signed by the person receiving the letter, and the sender can see the recipient's signature by e-mail or having the receipt mailed back to them.

An Alternate Way to Pay Alimony

If you have concerns because your alimony checks are not cashed, you can ask that the alimony payments be deducted from your paycheck automatically through a wage assignment order (also known as wage garnishment). The money will be forwarded to your former spouse by the family support agency in your state.

As long as your employer deducts the proper amount, your alimony payments will always be up to date. Depending on where they live, your former spouse will receive a check, have the funds deposited directly, or receive a debit card loaded with the amount of your alimony payment. Please note that many banks do offer customers the option of paying bills electronically. Unfortunately, making alimony and/or child support payments in this manner is specifically prohibited.

Making alimony payments in cash is not a good idea, unless you are able to get your former spouse to give you a receipt for the payment.

If you have any questions or concerns about alimony checks not being cashed, do make an appointment with an attorney to get appropriate legal advice.

Alimony Checks Not Being Cashed