Non Payment of Court Ordered Spousal Support

In Florida, alimony or spousal support has been a contentious topic for some time now. Both men and women can be ordered to pay alimony, and women who are ordered to pay their ex-husband alimony, is consistently on the rise. The amount, type and duration of spousal support much depends on your attorney’s ability to have provided you with honest, straightforward legal counsel and representation. Whether by way of mediation and marital settlement agreement, or by way of  divorce litigation, once alimony is ordered by the courts, it is enforceable. Modifying alimony requires proof of a substantial and permanent change in circumstances, thus, getting your divorce and alimony settlement right the first time is crucial. This holds true for both the payer and the recipient of spousal support. When an alimony award is such that it will make it difficult for a person to comply, the recipient may have to take steps to enforce the order.  The process of collecting past-due alimony in Florida can take time. If the award was fair and just, the recipient likely depends on this support. However, the payer may earnestly be struggling to abide by the order for spousal support.

What Steps Can be Taken to Collect Spousal Support in Tampa Bay?

Several steps can be taken to enforce any family law order, including the enforcement of alimony. Speaking directly with a seasoned Tampa divorce attorney is the first best step. There are several types of alimony that can be awarded in Florida, thus, each case for enforcement is unique. Enforcement of your order will depend on the order itself and the facts of the case that is presented to a judge.  Choosing the best Tampa alimony lawyer for your specific needs should begin with a thorough consultation where you can discuss the details of your case and receive focused legal counsel as to the best way to proceed.

Civil Contempt 

For instance, if it is found that your ex spouse has blatantly attempted to avoid paying their court ordered obligation, the punishment and penalties can be anything from  a money judgement, fines, a lien to jail time or a combination. Whether the payer has a valid reason for non-payment or is simply not abiding by the order, it is still considered contempt of court or civil contempt. Whether a valid reason a judge has a considerable amount of leeway and the punishment for non-payment and contempt can be harsh. If there are multiple occasions of non-payment, separate actions for contempt can be made for each time there is a failure to pay.

Wage Garnishment is one of the most common forms of  alimony enforcement in Florida, particularly where assets are few. This action is called a Continuing Writ of Garnishment Against Salary or Wages.  This is to enforce periodic payments of alimony to the person receiving alimony. In Florida, this is a legal collection tool that permits a judgment holder (recipient of spousal support) to intercept a portion of money owed by the debtor’s employer to the judgment debtor.

If you need assistance with enforcing a court order for spousal support in Tampa, Brandon, St Petersburg or Wesley Chapel contact our office for information or assistance. Nilo J Sanchez & Associates has over 25 years of experience representing divorcing and divorced couples in post judgement family law matters in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco County, FL.

Read: Penalties for Non-Payment of Alimony in Tampa Bay


Alimony Modification Attorneys Tampa Bay

There are several valid reasons that either spouse can have for wishing to modify their alimony award. However, if you have been ordered to pay spousal support,  rather than simply not paying because you lack the ability to do so, it is highly recommended to consult with a Tampa alimony attorney who can advise you as to how you should proceed to protect both your financial future and that of your ex, especially if they truly depend on this for their security.  In short, modifying your alimony may be one way to avoid further legal consequences.


Nilo J Sanchez & Associates, Tampa, Florida



Consult with Nilo J Sanchez & Associates

If you have questions about enforcing a current order, or if you have not paid and you need representation and legal counsel, please call our office to schedule a consultation or send us a secure message below.