Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Alimony

What is an income withholding order in Florida? This is an order that obligates someone’s employer to withhold money from his/her paycheck and pay that money to the State Depository. The State Depository then disburses this money as child support and/or alimony on behalf of the person whose paycheck was garnished. Entry of this type of order was an issue in the case Carlson v. Frengut, 4D21-1600 (Fla. 4th DCA September 14, 2022).

There are few facts given in this case, but this matter was appealed previously, and the trial court vacated a previously entered income withholding order. The court did not enter a new income withholding order even though the former husband was substantially and continually in arrears on his alimony obligation. The former wife appealed, arguing the trial court was statutorily required to enter a new income withholding order.

The appellate court agreed with the former wife and cited Fla. Stat. 61.1301: “Upon the entry of an order establishing, enforcing, or modifying an obligation for alimony, for child support, or for alimony and child support, other than a temporary order, the court shall enter a separate order for income deduction if one has not been entered. § 61.1301(1)(a), Fla. Stat. (2021). Additionally, section 61.1301(1)(b)2. requires that the income deduction order shall: ‘State the amount of arrearage owed, if any, and direct a payor to withhold an additional 20 percent or more of the periodic amount specified in the order establishing, enforcing, or modifying the obligation, until full payment is made of any arrearage, attorney’s fees and costs owed, provided no deduction shall be applied to attorney’s fees and costs until the full amount of any arrearage is paid.’”

The case was remanded for the trial court to enter an income withholding order addressing the former husband’s ongoing obligation and his arrears. Schedule your consultation with a Miami family law attorney to understand how the law may apply to the facts of your case.