You can enforce a court order by filing a petition with help from your attorney. It can be an incredibly frustrating experience when you aren’t receiving payment for child support and/or alimony, but you do have legal options available in this situation. Guidance and services from an experienced lawyer can help you exercise those options and fight for your and your children’s needs.
Enforcing Alimony & Child Support in Florida
When the court issues an order for alimony, child support, or any other family law matter, compliance is not an option. Both parties must perform as ordered by the judge or face legal consequences.
When someone fails to comply with a court order, the other party may file a petition to enforce the order. This brings the breach of the order to the court’s attention, and a judge will conduct a hearing on the dispute. If the judge isn’t satisfied with the other party’s reason for causing the breach, then the judge may hold them in contempt of court, which can result in fines and jail time.
The courts are unlikely to overlook the fact that you are owed a debt because of your ex’s contempt of court. In addition to any penalties they might face for contempt, the court may issue an order for wage garnishment.
Wage garnishment requires your ex’s employer to withhold their earnings from all income sources (paychecks, tax returns, commissions, lottery winnings, etc.) to go toward their alimony or spousal support debt. If the judge issues a wage garnishment, you don’t have to deal with your ex – instead, you will receive payment directly or through a third party,
The court can also place a lien against your ex’s property, such as their house. With a lien, your ex can’t sell their property without first paying off the lien.
Writ of Execution
Judges can also issue writs of execution. These are orders to levy personal property from your ex and sell it at a fair market value until their alimony and child support debt are satisfied.
Can Bankruptcy Get Rid of Family Support Debt?
Alimony and child support debt are non-dischargeable debts. This means that no form of bankruptcy can help someone who owes this kind of debt get rid of it. For that matter, it also doesn’t expire – the only way to clear alimony or child support debt is to pay it.
Do You Need Help Enforcing Child Support or Alimony?
If your ex has stopped paying you alimony and/or child support, you don’t have to accept it. Their refusal to pay might amount to contempt of a court order, and you have legal remedies available to help you get the financial resources you’re owed.
Our experienced attorney at Beatriz Zyne, P.A. can help. Learn more about our legal services today by contacting us online.