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RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
“Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results.”

Enforcement of Past Due Child Support and Alimony


Family in need of attorney

Sometimes a person obligated to make payments for child support or alimony, referred to as the ‘obligor,’ fails to make such payments to the person to which payment is owed, or ‘obligee.’ When this occurs, there can be significant financial hardship to the obligee who depends on such income to support the family’s basic living expenses. There are many methods that the obligee can use to obtain past due payments from the obligor, in addition to wage garnishment and contempt proceedings. The Family Law Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A., provide the following to those individuals who wish to know more regarding the enforcement of past due child support or alimony payments.

While for some, using methods such as wage garnishment or initiating contempt proceedings can certainly be effective, for others it may be beneficial to consider alternatives. Often times an obligor may either be unemployed or underemployed. In this situation, wage garnishment may not be an option, or may only provide the obligee with a nominal amount. When this occurs, the obligor’s past due payments, also known as support arrearage, will continue to further accrue, as the person dependent on these payments struggles to make ends meet. Although the threat or initiation of contempt proceedings may be effective in coercing an unemployed or underemployed obligor to seek income sufficient enough to make support and alimony payments, this method may be more appropriate as a last resort.

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When wage garnishment is unavailable or insufficient, there are several considerations that should be made prior to initiating contempt proceedings. First, you can’t necessarily force the unwilling; an obligor who has the unequivocal desire to remain unemployed or underemployed may attempt to utilize any means possible to avoid making payments. Second, if the obligor’s driver’s license is revoked as a result of contempt proceedings, it essentially removes the most likely means of transportation that an obligor would use to get to a potential job (or interview). Third, contempt proceedings that result in a jail sentence, can also serve as a barrier to the obligor’s ability to remain employed or obtain meaningful employment.

Every matter involving past due support obligations is unique. As such, it is important that you understand Florida’s Support Statutes, and know all your legal rights and options prior to taking action. While some matters will require a highly aggressive approach, such as contempt proceedings, often times a less adversarial or alternative approach, can provide much more effective results. Available methods, including both common and alternative means of enforcing past due support:

If you are entitled child support or alimony payments, pursuant to a valid court order, and the person obligated to make such payments has failed to pay, it is important that you take immediate steps towards remedying the problem. Letting past due amounts continue to accrue can not only create financial hardship for you and your family, but in essence allows the obligor to avoid their legal obligation and responsibility. You may also be entitled to an award for attorney fees, court costs, and other expenses incurred as a result of your efforts to obtain past due support. You have a right to receive support payments which have been ordered by the court – Let our decades of combined experience go to work for you.