This is the next post in my series on the topic of alimony and spousal support in Melbourne, Florida divorce cases. My last article discussed the process of adjusting spousal support after the Court has entered an order. It is important to understand that, quite often, the Court will adjust support up or down as the parties’ financial situations change. If you believe that you will not be able to make your payments it is, therefore, important that you consider requesting an adjustment. In this article I will discuss the consequences of failing to pay your alimony. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
An order to pay alimony is like any other mandate from the Court. Failing to meet this mandate can result in the offending party being held in contempt. Such a ruling can result in jail time, fines, having to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees, and still owing the unpaid support at the end of the day. If one is found to have violated the Court order, then the argument of “not having the money” will typically carry little weight with the Judge. This is due to the fact that, as far as the Court is concerned, the offending party could have sought a support adjustment if they were having financial difficulty. In other words, if one cannot make their payments it is important to immediately seek an alimony modification.
If you are the party who is owed money then there are several steps which go into getting paid. Typically, your attorney will first contact the offending party and attempt to work out a solution which does not involve the legal process. Such an arrangement may involve the paying spouse making all future payments on time, and including an additional monthly amount to make up for the arrears. If such an arrangement cannot be reached then it will be necessary to file a Motion with the Court requesting that the spouse be held in contempt. A hearing will be held and the Judge will have several options in dealing with the situation. It is important to realize that in such situations the Court’s main goal is typically not to “punish” the offending party; the Judge’s main concern will be in making sure that the payee receives their money. As such, the Court’s solution will depend on the specific facts of the case.
If you or a loved one are in a dispute, which involves unpaid alimony, then contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne Spousal Support lawyer. I am experienced in handling such matters and my office is ready to assist you. We also service clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.