A child support order may lay out all the details (the amount owed, the frequency of payment, etc.), but what happens when those payments are not made? How is child support enforced in Florida?
The Florida Department of Revenue’s Child Support Program helps children get the financial support they need when it is not received from one or both parents. The Program works with the families it serves and partners with the State and Federal agencies and private companies to carry out critical steps in the child support process.
How does the Child Support Program enforce child support?
In the case of non-payment, the Program may take any of the following actions:
- Send a late payment notice
- Suspend their Florida driver’s license
- Report past-due support to credit agencies
- Suspend business, professional, and recreational licenses
- Place liens on personal property
- Take federal income tax refunds
- Take Florida lottery winnings over $600
- Take support payments from reemployment and worker’s compensation
- Take support payments from the parent’s paycheck
- Take money from bank accounts
- Negotiate a payment agreement to collect past due support
Can payments be taken out of a parent’s paycheck?
Yes, payments can be taken out of a parent’s paycheck with an Income Withholding Order. The Program can help you do this. They will need the employment information of the parent who owes the support in order to get an Income Withholding Order.
What if one of the parents lives outside of Florida or the Support Order is from out-of-state?
The Program’s services are available even if one parent lives in another state or country and/or if the support order is from another state.
What if my child turns 18?
If you owe past-due support, you are required to pay it off no matter how old your child is.
What if I don’t have the money to pay all of my past-due child support?
The Program can structure a written agreement. A written agreement is a promise to pay past due support, usually by making regular monthly payments. Once a written agreement is in place, the Program agrees not to take or complete a pending action (for example driver license suspension) as long as the parent pays as agreed. Normally, a lump sum payment must be made before the agreement can be signed. Then, the agreed upon payments must be made on time or the Program may take action. (Note: A written agreement does not change the terms of the parent’s support order. Current support that is owed must be paid on time as ordered in addition to payments for past-due support pursuant to the parties’ written).
The payment of child support is a serious matter. Failure to pay can result in a variety of consequences including loss of your driver’s license or even jail time. If your former spouse has defaulted on payments, it is important to get in touch with the Department of Revenue to help you receive what is owed. It is also wise to consult with an experienced lawyer to help you negotiate the process.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss child support, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. or call 561-478-0312.