Yaffa Family Law Group
By: Doreen Yaffa

What Happens when your ex fails to pay his/her support?

Custody and Support, Divorce

When you and your ex-spouse divorce, one party may be ordered by the court to pay support to the other party. Support may be in the form of alimony or child support. When the paying spouse fails to pay their support, there can be serious consequences. In Florida, there are many avenues of recourse to force the payment of support.

The most common consequence is contempt of court. Contempt of court is the disobedience of an order of a court. If the judge finds the paying party in contempt of court, they may be subject to a fine, a brief stay in jail, or even both. The party may also be ordered to remain in jail until they pay the support they owe to the receiving spouse.

Wage garnishment is another avenue a receiving spouse may take in order to get the support they are owed. The court does this through what is called an “Income Deduction Order.” The support the paying spouse is ordered to pay is deducted directly from their paycheck. This ensures the receiving spouse gets the support they are owed without the paying spouse having the ability to withhold it.

Further consequences when an ex-spouse fails to pay their support is property liens, tax refund designation, judgment, and interest. The court can place a lien on the paying spouse’s property, which will prohibit the sale of the property until the support is paid. Further, the court has the right to demand the paying spouse’s income tax refund be used for unpaid alimony. If the court awards the receiving spouse a judgment against the paying spouse, the paying spouse will be responsible for the full amount of support owed, plus interest. This is in addition to the receiving spouse’s legal fees and costs.

If your ex-spouse is behind on their support payments, you have several options to consider ensuring you receive your court ordered support.

With over 25 years of experience, Yaffa Family Law Group is dedicated to providing our clients with the top-notch legal care that they deserve. If you live in Florida and are looking for an excellent family lawyer, call (561)276-3880 for a free consultation.