How Does the Department of Revenue Enforce Child Support Orders?
For many families, child support payments are an essential part of their monthly income. Child support is court-ordered periodic payment from one parent to another that is intended to help meet the costs associated with raising a child. The amount and frequency of child support payments varies case by case and depends on the specific circumstances of both parents and children. These payments typically terminate when a child turns 18 and becomes a legal adult.
Unfortunately, there are cases in which the paying parent does not pay his or her child support obligation for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, a parent who stopped paying child support will assert that they no longer are under any legal obligation to pay because the child has turned 18. Fortunately for parents who are owed back child support payments, any back due child support can often be recovered, no matter the age of the child. Often, the assistance of an attorney can help ensure that you obtain the child support you are owed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Child Support Enforcement
Because child support payments are ordered by a court, there are a variety of methods that can be employed to obtain past due child support cases. In some instances, an individual who is not paying on their child support obligations may be held in contempt of court and even jailed. The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) is the state agency that is responsible for the enforcement of child support orders. It has a variety of methods that it can employ to obtain past-due child support payments. These include the following:
- Driver’s license suspensions;
- Late payment notices;
- Withholding income;
- Withholding Florida lottery winnings;
- Passport denial;
- Reporting the delinquency to credit bureaus;
- Intercepting a federal income tax refund;
- Setting up an appointment with the Department of Revenue to negotiate a payment-plan;
- Placing liens on personal property;
- Garnishment; and
- The suspension of any professional, business, hunting, or fishing license the non-paying parent may have.
It is extremely important for parents who are owed child support to discuss their options with an experienced family law attorney. In order to preserve your right to collect on past-due child support, you need to obtain a court order. Importantly, the court order will remain enforceable even if the parent is currently unable to pay. Obtaining a court order requires an understanding of the relevant law and court procedures, so it is highly advisable to do so with the assistance of an attorney.
Importantly, there are some cases in which a parent may be owed child support and not even be aware of it. Certain child support orders require parents to contribute to any medical expenses for a child. As a result, anyone who has recently paid out-of-pocket for their child’s health care and is owed child support should read their child support order closely in order to determine whether they are owed money.
Contact a Tampa Bay Family Law Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
Anyone who is owed child support or has any other issue related to family law should contact an experienced Tampa Bay family law attorney at All Family Law Group, P.A. by calling 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+