Divorce enforcement proceedings are an important part of our family courts. What happens if your former spouse doesn’t follow the terms of your divorce settlement agreement? How can you make your former spouse obey the court’s rulings in your final judgment of dissolution of marriage? Divorce enforcement of court ordered child support, alimony, visitation or other divorce findings continues to be available after the entry of your final judgment of divorce.
The court that enters your final judgment of divorce is available to enforce the final judgment after its entry. A divorce enforcement action can be filed with the same court that heard the original divorce under the same case number. Other courts may be able to enforce your divorce judgment, but a divorce enforcement lawyer will need to follow very specific procedures to allow another court to enforce the original judgment.
The spouse whom the judgment is being enforced against must receive notice of any hearing at which a request for enforcement will be made. Without this notice, the divorce enforcement proceeding more than likely cannot move forward.
When a former spouse does not pay monies for temporary or permanent alimony, or child support, contempt proceedings are the usual remedy. A court can use such contempt remedies as assessing fines and attorney fees, garnishing wages, and even jail time against a spouse required to pay support. If the spouse required to pay “purges” a support arrearage by paying all amounts due, most courts will withdraw contempt remedies. However, if the paying spouse cannot purge support arrearages, the burden is on the paying spouse to present evidence of this inability at a properly noticed contempt hearing.
If the divorce enforcement being requested involves a claim for non-payment of child support or alimony, an income deduction order may be entered by the court. An income deduction order requires that the employer of a spouse withdraw the alimony or child support obligation from a spouse’s pay check. The employer is then responsible for sending the money to the Florida State Disbursement Unit. This group will then send payment to the receiving spouse, as well as keep a record that the payment was made.
If divorce enforcement of a timesharing order or agreement is sought, there are several ways a court may enforce the timesharing with your children. Most of the time, a court will enforce visitation through its contempt powers. A court can order other divorce enforcement remedies without finding a party in contempt. For example, if one parent has interfered with another parent’s visitation, a court can order that the other parent receive make-up timesharing equal to the loss of timesharing. A court can also require that a parent provide notice to the other parent within a certain amount of time prior to canceling or modifying a parent’s timesharing with their children.
At Christopher M. Sprysenski, P.A., our divorce enforcement lawyers know that having options is important. Whether you are needing an attorney to enforce an obligation under your divorce judgment, or need to defend against an incorrect claim as to past due child support or alimony, we carefully review the facts of your case to provide the most efficient approach to your legal issue.
Call us today at 407-630-8485. We offer payment plans and accept all major credit cards.