Here in Florida parents are legally obligated to financially provide for their children. When a child’s parents are not together, one parent is generally required to make periodic child support payments to the other parent. But what happens when a parent who has been ordered by a family law court in Florida to pay a certain amount of child support periodically fails to do so? When this happens the parent who is delinquent in their child support payments is “in arrears”, the total amount of delinquent support that they owe is referred to as “back child support” or “past due child support”, and the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) could initiate an involved collections procedure that is discussed below.
Enforcement of Child Support Orders in Florida
If a parent in Florida misses one or more child support payments without first notifying the Florida Department of Revenue that they will have trouble making their next support payment on time then the DOR will start taking measures designed to collect the back child support that is owed. The DOR’s website notes that the following are a list of collection tactics that they can employ when a child support payment is not made in Florida as ordered:
- Late Payment Notices: The DOR will generally start off the collection procedure by mailing the delinquent parent one or more late payment notices.
- Income Withholding: The delinquent parent’s income from wages and/or other sources can be withheld.
- Driver License Suspension: The delinquent parent’s driver’s license can be suspended if they refuse to pay what they owe, sign a written agreement for payment of back support, or file a petition to contest the allegation that they owe back child support.
- Recreational, Business, and/or Professional License Suspension: The DOR can also suspend the delinquent parent’s recreational, business, and/or professional licenses.
- Past Due Child Support Appointment: The DOR may request that the delinquent parent attend an appointment at their local child support office in order to work out a back child support payment plan.
- Withhold Income Tax Refund: The delinquent parent’s federal income tax refund can be withheld.
- Withhold Lottery Winnings: If the delinquent parent wins $600 or more in Florida lottery winnings the amount that they owe in back child support may be withheld from their winnings.
- Deduction from Reemployment Benefits: If the delinquent parent is collecting reemployment benefits up to 40 percent of their benefits may be deducted to cover the back child support that they owe.
- Deduction from Workers’ Compensation Benefits: Deductions may be withheld from a delinquent parent’s workers’ compensation benefits if they are collecting such a benefit.
- Personal Property Liens: The DOR may place a lien on a delinquent parent’s vehicle or boat if they owe $600 or more in past due child support.
- Credit Reporting: The DOR can notify credit reporting agencies if a delinquent parent owes $400 or more in back child support.
- Garnishment: The DOR can send legal process to financial institutions in order to garnish the delinquent parent’s assets.
- Court Hearing: The DOR may file a claim with the courts if the delinquent parent is able to pay their back child support but chooses not to.
- Passport Denial: If the delinquent parent owes $2,500 or more in back child support then the DOR can prevent them from having their passport renewed.
Need Legal Advice?
Here at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, P.A. we understand how vitally important it is for our clients to be able to collect the child support that they are legally entitled to. If you live in Florida and need assistance collecting back child support from your ex-spouse experienced family law attorney David Hirschberg is here to help. To find out what our firm can do for you simply contact our Boca Raton office by filling out our online contact form or by calling us at (561) 763-7622 and scheduling a confidential consultation.