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How can you enforce a spousal support order in Florida?
How can you enforce a spousal support order in Florida?

How can you enforce a spousal support order in Florida?

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Alimony & Spousal Support |

During divorce, a court may order spousal support, also known as alimony, to support a spouse with fewer financial resources and to better ensure a fair standard of living. Alternatively, spouses may agree on spousal support terms as part of a negotiated settlement for any reasons they choose.

Unfortunately, some ex-spouses neglect to pay their spousal support obligations, leading to financial difficulties for the supported spouse. If you’re divorced in Florida and your ex-spouse neglects to pay spousal support, the law provides various mechanisms for enforcement. They include the following.

Civil contempt

If your ex-spouse ignores court directives to pay spousal support, civil contempt proceedings can be initiated. In such cases, the court may issue a contempt order, compelling the non-paying spouse to comply with the support order. Failure to adhere to the court’s directives could result in penalties such as fines or even imprisonment.

Wage garnishment

Recurring payments can be directly deducted from the non-paying spouse’s wages by their employer and sent to the supported spouse or the appropriate state agency. This method ensures a consistent flow of support and reduces the likelihood of non-payment. The amount subject to wage garnishment is typically determined by the court based on the support order and the non-paying spouse’s income.

Money judgement

Another method that the courts may employ to enforce spousal support in Florida is through a money judgment. If the non-paying spouse continues to neglect their spousal support obligations despite civil contempt proceedings or wage garnishment, the court may enter a money judgment against them. This judgment establishes the amount of unpaid support owed by the non-compliant spouse. With a money judgment in place, the supported spouse can take legal action to pursue the unpaid support such as pursuing bank account levies, property liens or other means of asset seizure.

Spousal support enforcement is a complex subject and you might consider seeking legal guidance to help ensure that you understand the available options for enforcing spousal support obligations in Florida if non-payment is a concern that you’re grappling with at present.


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