Ex Vandalizes Home Despite Generous Divorce Settlement, Can Lein be Placed on Alimony Payments?

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“We are in Tennessee.  During our divorce I gave my ex-wife all the cash our marriage had and retirement funds that I personally had, it was in in excess of 1.5 million.  I then gave her COBRA for 36 months at a cost of 1k and alimony for 12 years of transitional type (non modifiable)  I took the house that was underwater in debt to value and all contents.  When my ex moved out she vandalized the house in excess of $50,000, plus stole over $100,000 in contents.  I have her in contempt of court now, but she has rid herself of all cash and only has the retirement funds plus my payments of transitional alimony.  Is there any case law on being able to lein her payments? MDA stipulated also enforcement was cost to violater. I can’t find any case law on this, it’s always that the husband didn’t pay alimony contempt. I can’t be the first? Can I lein her alimony since she refuses to work, since she draws $60,000 a year?  I will pay for your time if you will help me!!”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Basically what you are asking is if you can reduce or stop, or bank, your alimony based on the actions of your ex.  Without seeing your order, it would be impossible to say.  Your very best bet would be to have a consultation with a high-level Tennessee family law attorney, and ask them a) can your order be modified or voided based on her bad faith actions, and b) is there a way to prosecute that such that your ex’ activities could be seen as fraud, as one of the few ways that a permanent order can be voided is if there is fraud.

Also, if you can prove that your ex was responsible for the vandalism, and can prove what she took and the value of what she took, you may well be able to get a separate judgement against her, which judgement would come out of her income, which income is the alimony you pay her.  But the most important thing is that you need to consult with an experienced Tennessee family law attorney.



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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.