Enforcing Alimony Payments in Florida
Many people have many questions about alimony enforcement in Florida, especially after the law radically changed in 2023. This law ended permanent alimony and made some other changes that alimony reformers tried and failed to enact previously. However, these changes didn’t affect the major alimony enforcement options, which are outlined below.
Usually, alimony payments are an important component in an equitable marital property division. Frequently, the obligee gave up certain financial rights, like an equitable share of a retirement account, in exchange for more alimony. If the obligor doesn’t pay as agreed, the property settlement becomes inequitable. Rather than go back to court and reinvent the wheel, a Jupiter alimony attorney usually enforces the existing alimony provisions and restores balance to the property division.
The new alimony law didn’t affect enforcement options and was not retroactive. Court-ordered alimony payments, regardless of their amount and duration, are enforceable in Florida. Nevertheless, some people are understandably confused about their current legal and financial obligations.
Much more often, obligors have less pure motivations. They use legal confusion as an excuse to suspend payments.
In both cases, a polite yet firm demand letter from a Jupiter family law attorney might be just what the doctor ordered. Some obligors just need to be reminded of their commitments. Others need to know that they are on a lawyer’s radar and, if they don’t see the light, more invasive collection methods are on the way.
Usually, alimony orders include dormant wage withholding orders. The obligee agrees not to serve the order as long as the obligor is current. If the obligor falls behind, wage garnishment becomes an option. In many cases, it’s the most trouble-free option, for both obligees and obligors.
Wage garnishment usually ensures consistent payments for obligees. Serving the order might be an issue. Many employers use out-of-state payroll companies.
Depending on how the company deducts the money, wage garnishment could be a boon for obligors as well. If the payroll company uses a pretax deduction, that could mean a lower tax bill and a larger refund in the spring.
Speaking of tax refunds, payment intercept is basically wage garnishment’s cousin. The obligee could intercept tax refunds and, in some cases, other government payments. Bank account garnishment might be available as well. These options are especially attractive if the obligor is self-employed or has a lucrative side gig or passive income stream.
Beware the possible emotional effects of a wage garnishment order. In some cases, obligors could react negatively or even violently. Obligees and their attorneys should always be careful not to throw gasoline on a smoldering fire.
Work With a Diligent 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.