What Can I Do if my Spouse Refuses to Agree to Pay Alimony?
In many divorces, an alimony order is part of the divorce order. When a couple negotiates their own divorce, they craft their own alimony order – which is easy when both parties agree to its terms, and much less easy when one spouse refuses to entertain the idea that his or her partner should receive alimony and refuses to sign the partner’s order seeking it.
Refusing to agree to alimony is not the same as refusing to pay an alimony order once it is in place. Refusing to pay an established alimony order is an act of contempt of court that can lead to consequences like wage garnishment and seizure of profits from personal transactions. When an individual refuses to sign the paperwork that puts an alimony order into place, his or her spouse has to take additional actions to pursue this support.
Be Willing to Negotiate
If you are working with your spouse to create your divorce terms outside the courtroom, be willing to negotiate with him or her to reach an alimony agreement. In Florida, there are no hard-and-fast rules about creating alimony agreements; the court creates them at its discretion based on the guidelines included in Florida’s alimony law. Refer to these guidelines to show your spouse why you need alimony and to compromise on an amount and duration that will provide a sufficient level of support. These guidelines include, but are not limited to:
- The length of your marriage;
- Both parties’ incomes;
- The standard of living established during the marriage; and
- Each party’s financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage.
Your spouse might be more willing to sign an alimony order once he or she understands that alimony is not always permanent. Before negotiating an alimony order into your divorce settlement, talk to your lawyer to determine the outcomes of all potential actions.
Have the Court Determine an Alimony Order for you
Sometimes, there is no way to negotiate an appropriate divorce settlement with your spouse. When this is the case, it might be in your best interest to bring the court into your divorce and have determinations like your alimony order created in the courtroom.
Depending on the extent of your spouse’s refusal to cooperate with your divorce petition, you may be able to file a default divorce. This means that the court uses only the information you provide in your divorce petition to legally end your marriage. Ask your lawyer about pursuing this option if your spouse is completely unresponsive to your attempts to start and complete the divorce process. If you want to end your marriage, you always have the right to end your marriage.
Work with an Experienced Orlando Alimony Lawyer
Alimony is a tricky subject. Learn more about how alimony orders are created and what you can expect from this part of the divorce process by discussing your case in detail with an experienced Orlando divorce lawyer. Get started with the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. today by contacting us and scheduling your initial consultation in our office.