Oftentimes, a Court order goes ignored by a party who decides that they simply do not want to follow it. The good news is that the Court has Contempt or Enforcement powers to enforce prior Court orders. If you are seeking to enforce a child support or alimony obligation against a party who refuses to pay, you can file a Motion for Contempt and the Court will hear your arguments and enforce the order appropriately. The Court has several tools to use to force the other party to meet their obligations. For example, the Court may order a “purge” amount, which is a lump sum payment the other party must make or face incarceration. Sometimes, the Court can order wage garnishment via an Income Deduction Order to ensure that your payments are received.
As additional compensation, the Court has the ability to award you your reasonable attorney’s fees and costs for having to go through the time and expense of filing the Motion and arguing its merits at a hearing.
If you are seeking to enforce a child support or alimony obligation, contact the firm today so that we can immediately file for contempt/enforcement on your behalf. It is time for you to regain control of the situation and not be at the mercy of a party who willfully ignores a Court order.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Contempt/Enforcement
1. My spouse was ordered to pay me an "equalization payment" as part of our equitable distribution, can I file a Motion for Contempt?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. The Court's contempt powers (i.e. - the power to put a party in jail) only extend to support obligations such as alimony and/or child support. If you are owed money by your spouse as a result of distribution of assets and/or liabilities, you are in the same position as a traditional debtor/creditor relationship. There are remedies available to you, but incarceration is not one of them. Oftentimes, collection of such a debt is the same as collecting on any other debt and requires and experiences collections attorney to help. At The Orlando Family Firm, we do not send you to another attorney for this purpose. Through our experience in handling family cases and due to the poor economy, we have honed our skills in collecting debts owed to you by a former spouse. Our collections efforts are often assisted by a private investigator and/or asset locator firm so that we can garnish and/or force the sale of your spouse's current assets to satisfy your spouse's debts.