When your marriage has dissolved, you or your spouse may be ordered to pay alimony as part of the terms of your divorce settlement. However, if you or they fail to make the required alimony payments, there can be serious legal consequences.
If your ex spouse is not making alimony payments or if you are required to pay alimony but have not been able to do so, it is important to take action to protect your future. Reach out to an Orlando alimony enforcement lawyer at Bogin, Munns & Munns to find out how to best approach your case.
Who Is Required to Pay Alimony in Orlando?
There are often many misconceptions regarding alimony in Orlando. However, when you and your spouse divorce, alimony is not necessarily a guarantee. In fact, alimony is generally only awarded when a lesser-earning spouse is significantly reliant on the higher-earning spouse’s income for financial support.
Alimony can be awarded to ensure both parties can maintain their pre-divorce lifestyle and afford the costs of hiring a divorce attorney to represent them.
However, alimony is not awarded in every divorce case. If both spouses earn an equal amount of money, alimony may not be awarded. The only time alimony is required to be paid is if there is a court order requiring the higher-earning spouse to pay alimony to the lesser-earning spouse.
To consult with an experienced alimony enforcement lawyer serving Orlando, call 855-780-9986
Penalties for Failure to Pay Alimony
A spouse who fails to pay court-ordered alimony payments can face severe penalties. In Florida, they could be found in contempt for failure to pay alimony.
There are several enforcement actions you could face if you are found in violation of a court order. Not only could this put your rights and liberties on the line, but it could also have an impact on the outcome of your divorce settlement if it has not been finalized.
Some of the types of enforcement actions you could be subjected to if you fail to pay alimony include:
- Personal property liens
- Interception of your federal income tax refund
- Interception of your state income tax refund
- Interception of your bank account funds
- Wage garnishment
- Income withholding
- Suspension of your professional, business, or driver’s licenses
- Other legal penalties
If you hope to avoid the fallout of these enforcement actions, it is critical that you get help from an alimony enforcement lawyer to address the details of your case. In some instances, setting up a payment arrangement and getting current on your alimony payments is enough to avoid any harsh penalties.
However, the longer you wait and the further behind you get on your alimony payments, the more likely it is you will be subjected to the consequences of being found in contempt.
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Alimony Enforcement Actions in Orlando
If you have an existing alimony order in place as part of your divorce settlement, and your higher-earning spouse has failed to make good on their payments, you may be ready to take legal action against them. You can start by carefully documenting every time they fail to make a payment. If your payments go through the court system, these should already be carefully documented by the Orlando family court system.
Once you have contacted your Orlando alimony enforcement lawyer for help, we can file a motion for enforcement action to be taken. You may need to provide proof that your ex-spouse has failed to make their alimony payments on time, along with the amount that they are behind on.
You may also introduce communications exchanges or other pieces of evidence to support your case at this time. If the judge grants your motion, they can then determine what types of enforcement action should be taken so you can begin receiving your alimony payments once more.
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Challenging Alimony Enforcement
If you are a higher-earning spouse who has been unable to make alimony payments as ordered by the court, you may need to take steps to challenge the allegations made against you. You should be prepared to justify failing to comply with the court’s alimony order.
Perhaps you were laid off or terminated from your job. Or maybe you ran into medical issues or some other financial dispute that impacted your ability to make payments. Your attorney can help you advocate for your rights in court and avoid the consequences of court order violations.
In many cases, you may be able to create a payment arrangement that helps you get caught up on your alimony payments and ensures you are able to continue making payments on time in the future. Other times, it may be more appropriate to move forward with a modification request to your existing alimony order.
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How to Modify Alimony
Alimony can be modified depending on the details of your case. If the higher-earning spouse is requesting a modification to alimony, they will need to be able to prove why they are no longer capable of or should be making alimony payments. They might argue that the lesser-earning spouse has had an increase in income, or that their own financial status has taken a turn for the worse.
Those interested in obtaining alimony modifications will need to petition the court to do so. The courts will only grant modification requests if they can see irrefutable proof that a modification is necessary. Your alimony enforcement attorney can help you get the modifications you need to resolve your legal issues and get back to your life.
Call an Orlando Alimony Enforcement Attorney for Help Today
When alimony was ordered as part of your divorce settlement, failure to make payments could have severe consequences.
If your ex-spouse has not made alimony payments, or if you are required to pay alimony but have been unable to do so due to extenuating circumstances, an Orlando alimony enforcement lawyer at Bogin, Munns & Munns may be able to help. Schedule your confidential consultation today to learn more about what legal options may be available to you.