How to Enforce a Child Support Order in Florida
Child support orders are legally binding obligations to ensure the financial well-being of children. Unfortunately, there are instances when a parent fails to comply with the terms of a child support order. In such cases, it becomes necessary to enforce the order to secure the support owed to the child. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps involved in enforcing a child support order in Florida.
Documentation and Record-Keeping:
Maintain accurate and organized records of all child support payments, including the payment amounts, dates, and any relevant correspondence. These records will be essential in proving non-compliance and calculating the amount owed.
Initiate direct communication with the non-paying parent to remind them of their obligation and seek voluntary compliance. Clearly communicate the details of the child support order, including payment due dates and the consequences of non-payment. Keep a record of all communication attempts.
Contact the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR):
If the non-paying parent continues to ignore their child support obligations, contact the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) Child Support Program. Provide them with all relevant information regarding the child support order, including the court case number, the non-paying parent’s information, and any documentation supporting your claim.
DOR Enforcement Measures:
The DOR has various enforcement tools at its disposal to collect overdue child support. These may include:
- Income Withholding: The DOR can request income withholding, where the non-paying parent’s wages are garnished directly by their employer to satisfy the child support obligation.
- Intercepting Tax Refunds: The DOR can intercept federal and state tax refunds owed to the non-paying parent and redirect them to cover the child support arrears.
- Liens and Seizure of Property: The DOR may place liens on the non-paying parent’s property or seize assets to satisfy the child support debt.
- Suspension of Licenses: The DOR can suspend the non-paying parent’s driver’s license, professional license, or occupational license until they fulfill their child support obligations.
- Passport Denial: If child support arrears exceed a certain threshold, the DOR can request denial, revocation, or non-renewal of the non-paying parent’s passport.
Contempt of Court:
If the non-paying parent continues to disregard the child support order despite DOR enforcement measures, you can file a motion for contempt of court. This involves asking the court to hold the non-paying parent in contempt for willfully failing to comply with the order. If found in contempt, the court may impose penalties, fines, or even incarceration.
Seek Legal Assistance:
Enforcing a child support order can be a complex legal process. Consider consulting with a family law attorney experienced in child support enforcement. They can guide you through the necessary steps, help gather evidence, file the appropriate motions, and represent your interests in court if needed.
Enforcing a child support order in Florida is crucial to secure the financial support owed to your child. By maintaining organized records, initiating communication, involving the Florida Department of Revenue, and seeking legal assistance when necessary, you can take the necessary steps to enforce the child support order and ensure the well-being of your child.