Alimony – Enforcement of Alimony Obligation in Florida

An obligee has the burden of demonstrating that the obligor failed to comply with a court order, the burden of proof then shifts to the obligor to demonstrate that the obligor no longer has the ability to pay. “‘In a civil contempt proceeding for failure to pay . . . alimony, the movant must show that a prior court order directed the party to pay the support or alimony, and that the party in default has failed to make the ordered payments. The burden of producing evidence then shifts to the defaulting party, who must dispel the presumption of ability to pay by demonstrating that, due to circumstances beyond his control which intervened since the time the order directing him to pay was entered, he no longer has the ability to meet his support obligations. The court must then evaluate the evidence to determine whether it is sufficient to justify a finding that the defaulting party has willfully violated the court order.’ Bowen v. Bowen, 471 So. 2d 1274,1278-79 (Fla. 1985).” Jackson v. Jackson, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D1682 (Fla. 2nd DCA July 18, 2012).