Photo of Drew Wood

How are alimony payments enforced in Florida?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2017 | Family Law |

In the state of Florida, a court order may require an individual to make spousal support payment in the event of a divorce or legal separation. When the order is made, the court will determine an imputed or actual ability to make those payments. If an individual fails to make payments as ordered, a contempt hearing may be held.

At that time, it is up to the individual bound by the order to show that he or she was not capable of making alimony payments. If the failure to pay support as ordered was the result of unemployment or underemployment, a court may order the obligor to seek employment or to participate in job training. Obligors may also be required to notify the court on a regular basis about their efforts to find work during the reporting period.

If people who have been ordered to pay spousal support find work or otherwise make money, they are required to notify the court. In the event that payments are still not made or any portion of an order is not complied with, a judge may rule an individual in contempt of court. Doing so is consistent with state spousal maintenance laws under s. 61.08.

People who are interested in terminating or modifying their spousal support payments may wish to discuss the matter with an attorney. Payments may be terminated if a former spouse has gotten remarried or is otherwise being supported by another person. Payments may be modified if an individual can no longer pay them based on a loss of income or other relevant factors. However, those who are ordered to make payments are advised to comply with that order until a new one is made to avoid being ruled in contempt of court.