Child support is not the right of either parent—it is the right of a child. Accordingly, it cannot be waived by either parent. Each paternity and divorce case must end with a child support calculation. However, there are times when a parent does not make their child support payments and falls into arrears. As the parent receiving support, you have legal options in Florida to enforce your rights to child support, and an experienced Boca Raton family attorney can advocate for your interests in court. To learn more about how to enforce your child support rights, call or contact the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg today to schedule a case evaluation.
File a Motion for Civil Contempt
The first option for enforcing a child support order is to file a motion for civil contempt in court. A parent making the petition must show that a valid order exists, the other parent has not paid, and that the parent has the ability to pay but chooses not to. If the judge finds the other parent in contempt, they can order that the parent make their support payments. If the parent refuses, the judge can penalize them with fines, and depending on the amount in arrears the parent may also be subject to jail time until the support is paid.
Income Interception Methods
The court can also order a number of different income interception methods that bypass the nonpaying parent and direct money straight to the parent receiving support. The most common method is an income withholding order, which mandates that the paying parent’s employer withhold a portion of each paycheck for the purposes of paying child support. Other options include the following:
- Interception of federal and state tax returns
- Interception of lottery winnings
- Placing liens on real estate and personal property
- Garnish directly from bank accounts
- Freeze a home equity line of credit
- Claim and sell abandoned or unclaimed property
- Intercept workers’ compensation funds, and more
Other Options for Support Enforcement
If a parent is still in arrears or refuses to pay child support, the court has other options for enforcement. The paying parent’s driver’s license can be suspended along with their car registration. Any professional licenses or certificates can also be suspended until payment is made, along with any occupational or recreational licenses. Bank accounts can be frozen until payment is made and reports can be made to credit bureaus that affects the parent’s credit score. Finally, for parents that are at least $2,500 behind in child support payments that parent’s passport can be revoked or their passport application denied based on the support in arrears.
Talk to Our Office Now
It is important to know that you have rights to enforce child support payments if your child’s other parent is in arrears. If you would like to speak with an experienced Florida family law attorney about your options for enforcing a child support order, call the office or contact us today at the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg in Boca Raton now for an evaluation of your claims.