What You Need to Know About Garnishing Social Security for Alimony

When a couple gets divorced, it’s sometimes necessary for one former partner to provide the other with regular support payments, known as alimony or spousal support. This is often the case when one party is substantially better off financially than the other. In most situations, this arrangement is temporary and meant to provide the recipients with the resources they need to obtain education or training.

One issue that may come up when you have an alimony agreement in place is delinquent payments. When this happens, Florida courts may enforce the continuation of spousal support payments through several means, including the garnishment of Social Security benefits.

The rare allowance of Social Security garnishments

The alimony rule is an exception to the general regulations related to Social Security benefits. In most cases, these benefits cannot be used to pay off a loan. For instance, a creditor could not attempt to garnish these benefits to pay off a loan on a car or a balance on a credit card. However, courts are allowed to garnish Social Security benefits to provide a former partner with any outstanding alimony owed to that person. It’s important to note, however, that only retirement benefits may be garnished. A former partner has no right to garnish Social Security Disability benefits for spousal support purposes.

Alimony agreements are binding legal documents, and both parties must adhere to the terms of these contracts. If you have not been receiving the spousal support you’ve agreed upon with your former spouse, meet with a knowledgeable Florida divorce lawyer at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras.

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