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What Should I Do If A Florida Parent Fails To Pay Child Support?


If a couple with children chooses to end a marriage, child support will be part of a final divorce agreement. Essentially, this means the parents have agreed or a court has ordered one parent to pay the other parent a set amount, typically paid monthly. Often, the payment is paid by the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent to help them offset all of the expenses connected with raising one or more children.  Occasionally, the child support calculations will result in no payment of support as incomes and time sharing are approximately equal.

Child support payments are for supporting kids, although the custodial parent can use those funds as they would like to offset care expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, food, extracurricular activities, day care expenses, healthcare, and more. If a parent does not make the payments per the Court Order, there are multiple legal paths to compensation. Discuss your situation with a Port St. Lucie divorce attorney to learn more.

Different Levels of Child Support are Awarded

Payments awarded are connected to the monthly resources of the parent making the payments and the parent receiving the payments. In the state of Florida, there is no set maximum. The amount will be determined by the number of children,  income leave is of both parents, number of overnights per year, cost of day and cost of health insurance.

Parents have an obligation to support their children. The support is owed on behalf of the child, parents may not waive the support. When a divorce is finalized, there could be child support payments outlined in a settlement agreement. These payments must be made consistently.

Penalties for Failing to Pay Child Support

If a parent fails to pay court ordered child support, a judge can issue severe penalties. These penalties are in place to push the parent to pay the money owed. Penalties for Florida parents who refuse of fail to pay child support:

  • Fines
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Liens on properties
  • Passport denial
  • Money withheld from paychecks
  • Money withheld from workers’ comp
  • Reports to credit bureau
  • Criminal or civil contempt
  • Order to pay legal expenses of other parent
  • Jail time

Even if your ex-spouse is ill or unemployed, they should be making payments. If they are unable to keep up with awarded child support payments, they need to explore legal solutions, they are not legally able to simply stop paying. If you need to access child support payments from an individual who is not making the payments they should, talk to a Port St. Lucie divorce attorney.

It is possible your former spouse has already talked to a family lawyer themselves, it is important for you to have a legal professional on your side. Sharing custody is not always easy, but the process can be smoother when everyone is keeping the final agreement in mind.

Are you fighting to receive the court ordered child support you are due? Legal proceedings are often confusing and difficult to grasp, especially in such an emotionally trying time. At Baginski, Brandt & Brandt, our top priority is to take care of your needs and ensure that you are being well-represented. If you have any questions or you find yourself in need of legal help when preparing for your divorce, please do not hesitate to contact our team of family law attorneys today.

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Port St. Lucie 8483 S. U.S. Highway One
Port St. Lucie, Florida 34952
Stuart By Appointment Only 100 SW Albany Ave., Suite 300k
Stuart, FL 34994
Fort Pierce By Appointment Only 311 S 2nd St., Suite 102b
Fort Pierce, FL 34950
Telephone: 772-466-0707 Fax: 772-223-9290 or 772-466-0907 Office Hours: 8:30 to 5:00pm M-F