Court Addresses Income Withholding Orders in Florida Family Law Cases

It is a common practice for the Florida courts to issue orders in family law cases that impose obligations to pay child support or alimony. Additionally, to ensure that such obligations are upheld, the courts must issue a separate income withholding order. Recently, a Florida court discussed income withholding orders in a matter in which the wife objected to the trial court vacating an existing income withholding order. If you have questions concerning alimony, it is wise to confer with a dedicated Miami divorce attorney as soon as possible.

Facts of the Underlying Case

It is reported that the wife and husband divorced, and the court ordered the husband to pay alimony. In 2021, the husband moved for a modification of his obligation. The court granted the husband’s motion and issued an amended income withholding order. The wife appealed the trial court’s ruling, arguing that it erred by issuing the order without notice or granting her an opportunity to be heard. As the appeal was pending, the trial court vacated the income withholding order but did not enter a new order. The wife asserted that this was improper under Florida law as well. The husband did not pay any alimony during the pendency of the appeal.

Income Withholding Orders in Florida Family Law Cases

The court noted that the wife’s reasoning was correct and remanded the matter to the trial court, directing it to enter a new income withholding order. In its opinion, the court noted that the trial court was mandated to do so by Florida Statutes. Specifically, the law dictates that when entering an order establishing, modifying, or enforcing an obligation for child support, alimony, or both, unless the order is temporary, the court must enter a separate order for income withholding unless one has already been entered.

Further, the court explained that in alimony cases in which the party required to pay support is in arrears, any income withholding order issued must also order the obligor’s employer to hold back a minimum of an additional twenty percent of the periodic amount specified in the order creating, modifying, or enforcing an alimony obligation, until any arrearage has been fully paid. It also dictates that the order must withhold an additional twenty percent until attorneys’ fees and costs have been paid but states that such fees and costs cannot be paid until the arrearage has been paid. Based on the foregoing, the court remanded the matter to the trial court, ordering it to comply with Florida law.

Talk to an Assertive Miami Attorney

The courts will often issue income withholding orders in Florida divorce matters to ensure support obligations are upheld, and if such orders are inappropriately vacated, it may constitute an error. If you have questions about child support or alimony, you should talk to an attorney about your rights. The assertive Miami lawyers of the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A. can examine the facts of your case and develop a strategy that aims to help you seek the best result possible. Our office is in Aventura, and we regularly represent people in divorce cases in Miami. You can contact us through our online form or at 800-596-0579 to set up a conference.