Your divorce decree is not a suggestion or a guideline; it is an order. If your spouse willfully violates the terms of your divorce order, that’s contempt of court. To enforce an order for support or parenting time, you can file a Motion for Civil Contempt/Enforcement. If, however, you’re the spouse with the obligation to pay and you are delinquent because of economic hardship, you can answer the motion by requesting a modification of the original court order. For more than 30 years, Tucker Mitnik, P.A. has assisted clients seeking enforcements and modifications of divorce orders. As skilled trial attorneys, we aggressively assert our clients’ interests in an effort to reach a swift, fair resolution.
The party who files a motion for enforcement of alimony or child support must present evidence that a court has ordered the respondent party to pay support and that the respondent is in default. After a clear showing of those facts, the burden shifts to the respondent to demonstrate that due to circumstances beyond the person’s control, payment is not possible. Those circumstances could include:
If the evidence of inability to pay is compelling, the court may modify the existing order to pay support. If, however, the court determines a willful refusal to pay support, it can find the respondent in contempt and order any number of remedies through the Florida Department of Revenue:
If you owe child support, you should be aware that there is no statute of limitations on child support arrears. If you are truly unable to make payments, you should seek a post-divorce modification as soon as possible. Otherwise, unpaid support accumulates and collects interest.
Interference with child custody or visitation is a serious matter. Custodial parents have an obligation to ensure that their children keep their appointed time with the other parent, even when the children express an unwillingness to do so. Parents who intentionally alienate their children from the other parent do psychological damage to their children. A court may also find those parents in contempt for violating their parenting plans.
Florida has dedicated abundant resources to facilitating and enforcing the payment of alimony and child support. Whether you’re petitioning for enforcement or responding with a request to modify the existing order, Tucker Mitnik, P.A. can effectively represent your interests in court. Call us today at 321-392-5239 or contact our Melbourne office online.