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What Can the Court Do If Child Support or Alimony is Not Paid in a Florida Divorce or Paternity Case

Posted by attorney Stann Givens

When there is a court order requiring someone to pay child support or alimony in a Florida divorce or paternity case, there are consequences for non-payment. If you are involved in a court proceeding of this type, the first thing to keep in mind is that a court order is not just a suggestion. It is a binding obligation requiring that the order be followed or that consequences shall occur.

If there is a delinquency in the payment of court ordered child support or alimony in your court proceeding, a paper will typically be filed with the court asking that the delinquent person be required to live up to the obligation or face those consequences. If the person is not paying, the court will typically order the person to pay or to suffer a punishment. If the person still does not pay, then the court can order that the person funds be garnished or that the person go to jail until the delinquent amount is paid. In addition, the court can assess a further penalty against the person by requiring that the attorney's fees of the enforcing party be paid.

Not all cases are subject to incarceration, however. In order to send someone to jail for non-payment, the court must have proof that the person actually has the money to pay the amounts ordered. So if someone is required to pay, but has no income or assets from which the order can be paid, then the court will fashion an enforcement order that persuades the delinquent person to pay what is available but which falls short of jail time.

Bottom line: If there are alimony or child support payments which have not been made, contact your expert St. Petersburg divorce lawyer to ask what can be done in your case.

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Copyright Stann W. Givens 2010.

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