A Guide To Child Support Enforcement In Florida

You count on child support payments to afford groceries and provide for your children, but your ex-spouse hasn’t paid in months. What can you do?

First, it’s important to understand the steps that the Florida courts automatically take to enforce child support orders. Florida upholds very strict laws to hold noncustodial parents accountable for child support payments. If those measures aren’t enough, contact a trusted Florida child support attorney for more guidance.

Motion for Civil Contempt

If the parent of your child fails to pay child support in Florida,  you can file a “motion for civil contempt” to inform the court of the issue. This is relatively easy to do by yourself or with the help of an attorney. Be sure to provide the requested documents and information:

  • Copy of valid child support order, approved and signed by a judge
  • Proof that the other parent has the ability to pay
  • Proof that the parent has failed to pay the agreed upon child support amount

After this motion is filed, you and the other parent will attend a hearing to allow a judge to make a decision. If the judge rules that you are owed child support, the other parent will be ordered to pay and likely assigned other penalties as well. 

Court Orders To Collect Payments

There are many different ways that Florida judges can help custodial parents collect child support payments from noncustodial parents. 

A few of the most common methods used by judges include:

  • Establishing a payment plan
  • Withholding income from the delinquent parent’s paycheck
  • Intercepting federal or state tax refunds
  • Garnishing funds from a bank account when more than $600 is owed

In the worst case, parents can be sent to jail for up to a year until overdue child support is paid. 

Other Non-Payment Penalties

The state of Florida offers a few other creative ways to encourage noncustodial payments to pay overdue child support. These methods include freezing bank accounts, reporting the parent to credit bureaus, and revoking the parent’s passport. 

If you’ve been waiting months for child support payments you are rightfully owed, contact Caveda Law Firm in Tampa, Florida, for effective and compassionate legal support. The Caveda Law Firm has been helping Florida families for more than 28 years. Just call (831) 463-0800 to learn more.