Alimony will often be assigned by a judge following a divorce. Just like with child support, if you refuse to make your required alimony payments, Florida law has fairly severe consequences waiting for you.
How Alimony Works
Following a divorce, a judge may require one partner to make alimony payments to the other. This may occur if one spouse is found to have committed adultery, if one spouse is in severe financial need, if one spouse depends on the other, or many other scenarios. Depending on the situation, one of five different types of alimony may be assigned. These include Bridge-the-Gap Alimony, Temporary Alimony, Durational Alimony, Permanent Alimony, and Rehabilitative Alimony. Click here for a more in-depth explanation of the different types of alimony.
Penalties for Failing to Pay Alimony
Failing to pay alimony, intentional or not, could result in you facing any number of consequences, including:
Contempt of Court: Contempt of court would result in you paying a fine, serving jail time, or both. You might also have to remain in jail until your alimony is paid.
Wage Garnishment: A portion of your wages would automatically be set aside for alimony.
Tax Refund Designation: Your tax return would be used for unpaid alimony.
Property Seizure: If you fail to pay alimony, any of your valuable assets may be taken from you. This could include physical property, rental income, or dividends.
Property Liens: Failure to pay alimony could result in the court placing a lien on your property. This would prevent you from selling the property until your alimony is paid.
Judgment: If you have failed to pay the alimony that you owe, then your spouse can file a judgment against you. If the court finds you at fault, you would be required to pay the full amount of alimony plus interest in addition to your ex-spouse’s legal fees.
If you are in a situation in which you cannot make alimony payments due to loss of income or any other circumstances, consider contacting an experienced family law attorney. An experienced family law attorney may be able to help adjust your alimony agreement so that you are able to have more affordable payments.