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Consequences for Refusing To Pay Alimony in Florida

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Consequences for Refusing To Pay Alimony in Florida

Refusing to pay alimony (spousal support) is never a good idea. It rarely benefits the person refusing to pay and often results in unfavorable consequences.

The State of Florida has adopted numerous enforcement tools to ensure that spousal support is paid on time. Here are some of the methods Florida employs to enforce court-ordered alimony obligations:

Purchase of Life Insurance or Bond

Pursuant to Florida Statute § 61.08(4), if the court finds that there are special circumstances that warrant it, the court may order a person who owes alimony (the “obligor”) to:

  • Purchase or maintain a life insurance policy;
  • Purchase or maintain a bond; or 
  • Secure the alimony award with other assets.

In some cases, these assets may be drawn from to make alimony payments.

Participation in the Depository Program

Pursuant to Florida Statute §§ 61.08(10)(a) and 61.181, for all initial petitions for divorce or alimony obligations not connected with a divorce pending or filed on or after July 1, 2023, the court may direct that alimony payments be made through an appropriate depository. 

Depositories are operated by the office of the clerk of court for each county in Florida. Each depository shall operate a collection and distribution system for enforcing alimony and child support obligations.

An obligor who fails to pay alimony may be required to provide contact and other personal information to the depository, which maintains records of each obligor’s account. The depository may release information regarding the obligor’s failure to pay alimony to any credit reporting agencies, which may negatively affect the obligor’s credit rating. 

There may be other consequences if required to participate in this program based on the facts of the case.

Injunction / Writ

Pursuant to Florida Statute § 61.11, the court may issue injunctions or various forms of writ to secure alimony payments. These may include, for example, a writ of bodily attachment. 

A writ of bodily attachment is more or less an arrest warrant. However, the writ directs the U.S. Marshal to bring the obligor before the court when the obligor has been found to be in civil contempt (discussed below). 

Garnishment or Attachment

Pursuant to Florida Statute § 61.12, any amount of money the court orders as part of an alimony obligation is subject to garnishment (Florida Statute §§ 77.01 to 77.28) or attachment (Florida Statute §§ 76.01 to 76.38) to satisfy an outstanding alimony obligation. 

Income Deduction Order

Income deductions are usually used to secure child support payments, and garnishments are used to secure spousal support. However, in Florida, alimony may be enforced through both garnishment and income deduction processes. 

Contempt of Court

Pursuant to Rule 12.615 of the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure, the court has wide discretion to hold the obligor in civil contempt for willfully failing to obey the court’s order to pay alimony. 

Attorneys’ Fees

Pursuant to Florida Statute § 61.16, the court may order the obligor to pay the recipient spouse’s reasonable attorney’s fees, suit money, and the cost of bringing any proceeding to enforce the obligor’s alimony payments, including appeals from those proceedings.

Contact the Orlando Spousal Support Lawyers of Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC for Help Today

If you need help with an alimony matter in Orlando, Florida, one of the best steps you can take is to contact an attorney. A qualified family law attorney near you can ensure your rights and interests are protected at all times. Get in touch today for a free consultation.

For more information, contact our experienced Orlando spousal support lawyers at Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC by calling (407) 831-0203 to schedule a free consultation.

We serve all through Glenn County and it’s surrounding areas. Visit our office at:

Conti Moore Law Divorce Lawyers, PLLC
815 N Magnolia Ave Suite 100
Orlando, FL 32803

(407) 831-0203

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