Divorce & Family Law Attorneys

A Board Certified Family Lawyer serving Tampa, FL since 1996

Unemployment and Alimony

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2020 | Firm News

The recent pandemic turned Florida residents’ lives upside down. Most people shifted all aspects of their daily routine from how they shop to where they work. Unfortunately, some people did not maintain their jobs and continue to struggle to find new employment.

It puts most people in a tough position who have other financial obligations. For example, many divorced parents still have child support or alimony payments they have to pay in the meantime.

Do I still have to pay alimony or child support if I’m unemployed?

Unfortunately, child support and alimony obligations do not automatically stop if you lose your job. Also, you cannot just stop paying those payments due to the legal ramifications of resisting payments. The consequences of missing payments include:

  • Potential to be held contempt of court,
  • A driver’s license can be suspended
  • An order to pay a purge amount or lump-sum payment
  • The court could order a warrant for your arrest

These obligations continue unless and until they are modified by a court order.

How do I seek a modification?

A substantial income change is an eligible reason to seek a modification in Florida. First, you need to file a petition with the clerk of the court with the original alimony award and the reason for the change. You also need to file an affidavit with that petition that shows your current income, expenses and financial situation.

The court will hold a hearing for your modification request and determine if they should modify the payments or not. It’s critical to make the argument as clear as possible for why a modification is necessary.

If you are experiencing hardship and an inability to pay your child support or alimony obligation contact a family law attorney. An attorney can help you with navigating your options to protect your interests in court.