How to Enforce a Florida Alimony Order
In many Florida divorce cases, the court will order one spouse to pay the other alimony during and after divorce proceedings in order to help the spouse with the lower income maintain their standard of living and assist in the transition to financial independence. However, in some cases the spouse ordered to pay support refuses to do so, often leaving the spouse who is owed support in dire financial straits. At the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg in Boca Raton, our experienced team of Florida divorce attorneys is here to help you enforce the alimony order in your case. To learn more, call or contact our office today to schedule a case evaluation.
Motion for Contempt
The first option for enforcing an alimony order in Florida is to file a Motion for Contempt in court. If the judge finds that there is willful refusal to pay spousal support, that former spouse can be held in contempt. This can result in daily accruing fines to the court until the alimony is paid and can even result in jail time for a spouse until they pay their alimony that is in arrears. If failure to pay alimony continues to be a recurring issue, the state provides for additional methods of alimony enforcement.
Income Withholding or Wage Garnishment
Another option to collect alimony is through the use of income withholding, otherwise known as wage garnishment. A court order is issued to the employer of the spouse in arrears which orders that a percentage of each paycheck be withheld and sent to the spouse that is owed support. This money bypasses the spouse that owes support completely and goes directly to the former spouse in need. Garnishment can be applied to many types of income, including but not limited to salary, wages, commissions, bonuses, lottery winnings, tax returns, Social Security benefits, retirement income, and more.
Additional Collection Methods
If a Motion for Contempt or wage garnishment is not enough to collect alimony in arrears, there are additional collection methods available to a spouse that is owed alimony in Florida. One option is to place liens on the real estate and personal property of the former spouse that owes support. Any property with a lien requires that the lien be paid off first before the seller can recoup any profits from the sale. Another option is to do a sheriff’s sale of real estate or personal property owned by the spouse that owes support, with exceptions for certain types of property. The proceeds from the sale of the items go directly to the spouse that is owed alimony payments.
Call or Contact Our Office Now
Are you having trouble collecting court ordered alimony from your former spouse? The knowledgeable Boca Raton family attorneys at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case now.