Understanding Child Support Enforcement in FL
Whether you pay or receive child support, it likely makes a significant difference in your financial situation. If you depend on child support to cover your child’s expenses, it can be stressful if you do not receive payments as you should. There are ways that parents can enforce child support orders in Florida, and you should discuss these options with a Brandon child support lawyer right away.
Seeking Unpaid Child Support
When your unpaid child support starts to add up, it can be difficult to cover all of your child-related expenses. The good news is that Florida takes nonpayment of child support seriously – first, the law requires each parent to financially support their child. Second, failure to pay child support is a violation of a court order, which judges do not appreciate. The state has different ways to help you receive your child support.
The first step to enforcing child support is to have a support order from the court. If the other parent is simply paying you based on your own agreement and stops, there is little you can do to enforce payment. With a child support order, however, you can file a motion for civil contempt if they do not pay.
If the court finds that the other parent violated the court order, the judge can hold them in contempt of court. The court can also issue a child support collection order, which, depending on the amount owed, can:
- Set up a payment plan
- Take tax refunds or lottery winnings for support
- Withhold wages from the parent’s paychecks
- Place liens on personal property, vehicles, or real property
- Take money from the parent’s bank account
- Take workers’ compensation benefits
- Claim abandoned property or unclaimed property
- Freeze a home equity line of credit
There are other methods of enforcement that Florida authorities might use, including freezing bank accounts, suspending a driver’s license, reporting to credit bureaus, revoking passports, or even issuing criminal charges and possible incarceration for seriously delinquent parents.
For the Paying Parent
If you cannot make your child support payments as initially ordered by the family court, you should not simply stop paying. Instead, discuss the matter with a Brandon child support law firm. If you have experienced a significant change in circumstances, such as the involuntary loss of income or a disability, you might be able to petition the court for a child support modification. The court can assess your current financial situation and modify the order with a new payment amount. We can represent you and ensure that your new payments are reasonable, given your current situation.
Speak with a Brandon Child Support Attorney About Your Options
If you need help from a child support lawyer in Brandon, Florida, look no further than the law firm of Carman, Bevington & Finegan, P.A. We represent parents on either side of a child support enforcement case, and we can evaluate solutions that are best for your case. Call 813-654-3444 or contact us online to set up your consultation today.