Enforcing Alimony Orders In Palm Beach County
A few hundred dollars of spousal support could be the difference between weathering a financial storm and going under the waves. A third of the families in the Sunshine State don’t have enough cash to pay a $400 emergency expense. Unfortunately, many obligors (persons paying support) don’t see things that way. They often view alimony as a divorce penalty. Therefore, spousal support arrearage is very common.
Sometimes, an aggressive posture is a bad idea in these situations. Co-parenting relationships are often very fragile. If the family is already on thin ice, aggressive alimony collection could break that ice and cause more problems than it fixes.
Additionally, many obligors fall behind on spousal support payments because they lose their jobs or undergo another temporary financial hardship. Nevertheless, they want to do the right thing and pay their alimony. So, if they have a chance to make catch-up payments on somewhat friendly terms, they’ll seize that opportunity.
A Jupiter family law attorney often sends a demand letter in these situations. These letters are especially effective if the obligor is less than three months behind. Many obligors can afford to pay several hundred dollars in a lump sum and make monthly payments on the rest of the arrearage.
Wage garnishment or a motion to enforce payments are the two most effective collection methods.
Generally, garnishing wages for unpaid alimony is simply a matter of filing paperwork. Typically, a payroll or other company can withhold up to 50 percent of an obligor’s net income to pay off alimony arrearages.
Wage garnishment might not be all that simple. Many employers use out-of-state payroll companies. It’s often hard to find these companies, and they often refuse to follow out-of-state divorce and other family law orders.
Self-employed obligors who completely ignore demand letters usually pay close attention to enforcement motions. Usually, the motion offers the same terms (upfront payment and catch-up payments) as the demand letter. As a bonus, a motion to enforce can also clarify vague portions of an alimony order, so the obligor doesn’t have any excuse to skip payments.
Contact a Dedicated Palm Beach County Lawyer
Divorce and related matters almost always involve financial and emotional issues. For a free consultation with an experienced Jupiter family law attorney, contact Caroline Olson, P.A. We routinely handle matters throughout Palm Beach County.