Court-ordered attorney fees are not like other debt obligations – they have much higher consequences if not paid.
What could happen, if you don’t pay your court-ordered attorney fees?
The court can order one spouse to contribute to the other spouse’s attorney fees. This type of debt was treated in a special manner. When it comes to court-ordered attorney fees, the judge can go so far as to throw the offending spouse in jail for failing to pay, as you are in contempt of court.
Florida actually leads the way, according to the ABA (American Bar Association) in jailing people for not paying court-ordered fees. In light of these regulations, Denmon advises that spouses who are receiving financial help should have language drafted into agreements clarifying how much money must be paid and by what date.
Doing this gives spouses the ability “to enforce the agreement should the paying spouse fail to follow through with his agreement,” said Denmon.
As always, every situation is unique. This series is intended to “start the thinking process” to take emotive choices out of a hard situation. Everyone’s situation is different, and this is not intended as legal advice. Please, speak to a divorce attorney prior to making any decisions, especially decisions based on a simple blog post. There are many mitigating factors that will go into the final divorce decree.
For more Divorce Strategies: Brandon Legal Group