Enforcing A Spousal Support Order In Florida
One of the most common issues negotiated in a Florida divorce is alimony, which is also known as spousal support. The purpose of spousal support is to help a spouse that earned less of an income maintain their standard of living while they transition to financial independence. However, there are times when a spouse ordered to pay alimony by the Florida court refuses to do so, which can leave the spouse in need of support in dire straits. At Bubley & Bubley, P.A., our experienced and dedicated Tampa divorce attorneys are prepared to help you navigate this difficult issue during and after your divorce. To learn more, call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation of your case.
Contempt of Court
One option for compelling spousal support payments in Florida is through a contempt of court action. The spouse that is entitled to alimony submits a petition to the court, and the spouse that should be making payments must explain why alimony is not being paid. If the court determines that the alimony payments are being withheld willfully and wantonly, that spouse may be held in contempt. This means that they accrue daily fines on top of the alimony that is owed and may even face jail time until they pay their spousal support.
Income Withholding Order
Another option for collecting spousal support is through an income withholding, or wage garnishment, order. This is an order issued by the court, which compels the employer of a spouse that has been ordered to pay alimony to withhold up to ten percent of their paycheck and send it directly to the spouse receiving that support. This method bypasses the spouse that is supposed to pay alimony entirely, which can alleviate many issues involving spousal support that is in arrears.
Sheriff’s Sales and Liens
Liens and sheriff’s sales are two other options to collect on spousal support that has not been paid by a former spouse. A lien can be placed on personal property or real estate that must be paid first whenever that property is sold before the seller can collect any profits on the sale. Liens can be good for up to twenty years and are renewable. Sheriff’s sales auction off personal property and real estate of a spouse in arrears and use the proceeds of the sale to pay the spouse in need of alimony payments. However, there are carve-outs to what a spouse is entitled to keep in a sheriff’s sale, so this may not be the most effective option to collect back owed spousal support payments.
Call or Contact Our Office Today
Are you entitled to spousal support that you are not receiving during or after your divorce case? If so, the experienced and knowledgeable divorce lawyers at Bubley & Bubley P.A. in Tampa are prepared to help you get the alimony that you deserve. Call the office or contact us today to speak with one of our lawyers about your case and schedule a consultation now.