Helping Clients Collect the Assets They are Owed
The resolution of many family law cases typically includes some type of judgment that orders one spouse or parent to provide assets to the other. After you have been through the lengthy, emotional, and complex court process for a family law matter, you are responsible for collecting what you are owed. At Skupin Law Group, PLLC, we understand the difficulties you may face when collecting a judgment from someone with whom you have a complicated relationship.
Our Phoenix family law attorney, Michael Skupin, is dedicated to helping individuals seek the money that the court has declared as rightfully theirs. With more than 16 years of experience, you can trust that Mr. Skupin has the aggressiveness, knowledge, and legal resources to lawfully and effectively face a stubborn debtor.
Regulations for Judgment Collections in Arizona
Typically, in family law judgments, a creditor is seeking assets owed through the property division or alimony agreements allotted in a divorce proceeding or child support owed by the other parent of their child(ren). While the court issued an order for payment, it is the responsibility of the judgment creditor to take action and actually collect the funds or property.
Judgment creditors have five years from the time the judgment is made to collect the assets that are owed, according to Maricopa County Justice Courts. This limit, however, can be extended for another five years if the extension is requested before the first five years have passed. A creditor cannot begin to collect for 30 days, which is the amount of time a debtor has to file an appeal.
Assets that you can go after to satisfy your judgment include:
- Non-earnings, or money owed to debtor by other parties
- Bank accounts
- Real property
You have various options for methods of collecting if you are unsuccessful in doing so on your own. These methods include hiring a collections agency and paying them a percentage of the judgment, filing a Writ of Execution whereby a Constable would seize non-exempt property of debtor, or working with a competent attorney who can use legal tools and resources to collect on your behalf. Our team of Phoenix divorce lawyers is prepared to help you face a debtor who owes you assets or support money.
Having to face your former spouse or the other parent of your child in order to collect the money or assets they owe you can be complicated, and requires both delicacy and aggressiveness. A couple of tips for a successful approach include:
- Ask nicely. It may seem arbitrary, but the reality is that the very first step would be to request the judgment in a professional, amicable manner that is non-threatening but firm.
- Offer suggestions. If the debtor does not have the money to provide you with the judgment, offer suggestions as to how he or she can acquire the money.
- Start simple. The first assets you should go after are the easily accessible ones, like earnings and money in a debtor’s bank account, rather than seeking larger assets that need to be sold in order to convert to cash.
- Don’t harass. Be courteous in your collection efforts. Harassing a debtor or threatening them into paying you is not only ineffective, but it can also be grounds for a lawsuit against you.
- Time it right. The best time to grab assets is immediately after a debtor comes into money— either through wages, inheritance, or other event—rather than after he or she loses money.
- Keep tabs. Always be aware of what is happening with a debtor that might affect their finances or ability to pay you. Keep in touch with them and any contacts who can provide information.
Ultimately, it can be difficult to collect judgments on your own, especially if the relationship between you and the debtor is complicated. The best tip for ensuring you get what you are owed is to seek help from our aggressive, skillful family attorney in Phoenix.
Fight for the Assets That Are Lawfully Yours
At Skupin Law Group, PLLC, we believe that you deserve to take any and all necessary action in order to get the money and assets to which you are entitled under a family law judgment. Don’t let an ex-spouse or co-parent cheat you out of what is rightfully yours; let us provide you with the legal resources and tools that you need to confront them.