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Contempt of Court in Florida

Enforcement - Contempt of Court in Florida

If a party has a good faith basis to questions whether payments are required, contempt of court is not the appropriate remedy. An order requiring payment is the more appropriate course of action. "Because the husband had a good faith basis to question whether the medical expenses for which the wife sought payment were reasonable and necessary, we conclude that the circuit court should not have held him in contempt. See Sulman v. Sulman, 510 So. 2d 908, 909 (Fla. 4th DCA 1987) ("We do not disapprove of the trial court's decision not to hold the former husband in contempt, since his challenge to the request to pay appears to have been in good faith and his behavior does not appear to constitute willful disobedience of a court order.") (citation omitted). We remand for the circuit court to vacate the order of contempt and to enter an order requiring the husband to pay the wife the final charge of $169,746.82 within thirty days of the court's order. If the husband fails to comply with that order, then the wife may file a new motion for contempt." Lustgarten v. Lustgarten.

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