Florida law requires parents to provide assistance by way of money to minor children. When parents are divorced, this comes from child support payments that are calculated during the divorce process. However, while for the most part parents who are party to such an agreement have every intention of meeting their financial obligations to their children, life events and other factors may inhibit their ability to keep up. If that is the case, though, there may be consequences beyond repayment.
For example, one potential negative consequence of failing to pay child support is a driver license suspension. If a parent is behind on payments, the Florida Department of Revenue, which is tasked with collecting money required by a child support order and distributing it to the appropriate parties, will send a notice by mail to a delinquent parent. The notice will alert that person of the possibility that a driver’s license could be suspended if payment is not made.
Then, if 20 days pass without contact or payment, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend the license and send a notice in the mail. If a parent wants to regain driving privileges, paying what is due or agreeing to a repayment plan with the Department of Revenue is required. The license reinstatement will also likely require paying a fee to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. While opinions may vary on the appropriateness of this particular action, Florida is not the only state to do so.
For those facing financial difficulties in meeting child support obligations, being proactive and seeking child support modification may help avoid unwanted consequences such as a driver’s license suspension. Unfortunately, this is not the only action that can be taken, so those seeking to understand their options may find the counsel of an experience family law attorney helpful in addressing ongoing child support issues.