Skip to main content

My sister's husband was ordered to pay her $10K in the divorce settlement & the lawyer's fees. He won't do either..

Seattle, WA |

And to top it off, the lawyer is now charging my sister for the amount her ex won't pay. Plus he is in the Marines, but his command won't enforce the settlement. What should she do?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 3


Your sister hired her attorney, so her attorney is entitled to get paid by her. She is responsible for collecting from her ex.

At this point, your sister has a collection problem, not a family law problem. it appears her attorney's usefulness is done if he or she can't collect from a service member. Most family law attorneys don't have experience with military divorces or collections, so it's time for your sister to switch to one who does.


I agree with Doug. Your sisters attorney is entitled to be paid for his/her time, and it is your sister's repsonsibilty to pay her attorney.

The court has ordered her ex-husband to pay her $10K, but that does not mean he is going to pay willingly. Collecting a debt from a military member is a specialized area. If your sister's attorney wont go get the $10K, your sister needs to find a debt collection attorney familiar with collecting from service members.

This is not legal advice and I do not represent you. Good Luck.


(1) Your sister owes the debt to the attorney regardless of her husband's duty to do so. She will probably have to pay the attorney, then collect from the husband. She should contact the attorney to see if the attorney will hold off on collection to see if she can get the husband to pay. (2) In some situations the court can directly order payment by a certain deadline. If the husband refuses to do so, he may be in contempt of court, leading to other court sanctions for disobeying the order. (3) It may be possible for your sister to return to court, explain the problem, and then get the $10,000 converted from attorneys fees to an award of maintenance. Maintenance can often be collected directly from DFAS, the military paymaster.

This AVVO Answer is provided for general educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you agree and understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the attorney responding, and no attorney-client confidentiality. The law changes frequently, and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information provided in this Answer is general in nature and may not apply to the factual circumstances described in your question. The applicable law and the appropriate answer may be different in the State or States where the relevant facts occurred. For a definitive answer you should seek legal advice from an attorney who (1) is licensed to practice in the state which has jurisdiction; (2) has experience in the area of law you are asking about, and (3) has been retained as your attorney for representation or consultation. Your question and the attorney’s answer may be used for promotional or educational purposes

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer