Can your spouse get out of alimony by pleading unemployment?

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2021 | Divorce |

Your spouse is the vindictive kind, so you absolutely believe them when they tell you they’ll quit their job and live with their parents before they pay you a dollar in alimony.

You need that financial support — at least, for a while — to get back on your feet after the marriage is over. Can they really get away with ditching their support obligation by quitting their job?

Your spouse isn’t the first person to try that tactic

Family court judges have seen just about every trick in the book, so your spouse is mistaken if they think their plan will work.

Under Florida’s laws, the judge has the right to determine whether the party who owes alimony is willfully unemployed or underemployed and is trying to manipulate the court into reducing their support obligations. If that’s what the judge thinks, they can:

  • Order your spouse to look for work.
  • Order your spouse to participate in job placement programs.
  • Order your spouse to get new job training.
  • Require your spouse to file regular reports that document their effort to find gainful employment.

Your spouse may be stubborn, but the judge can hold them in contempt of court if they fail to comply with the court’s orders. That could ultimately affect their custody rights and create a host of other problems for them — and that’s just the start of the ways that the court can apply pressure to make your spouse do the right thing.

Don’t let your spouse’s threats get to you

One of the best reasons to work with an experienced divorce attorney from the very moment you decide to divorce is that they can help you avoid remaining subject to your spouse’s threats and whims. When it’s time to seek a divorce, you need guidance you can trust.