It is important to understand that the consequences for failure to pay child support are significant but parents may wonder what they are. Under Florida law, every child has the right to financial support from both of their parents until the age of 18. There are many important aspects of the child support process, including locating noncustodial parents, establishing paternity, obtaining support orders and enforcing support orders. The Florida Department of Revenue works with the family law courts, law enforcement and additional agencies concerning child support enforcement.
There are a variety of enforcement tools available to ensure that child support payments are paid in a timely fashion. Tools that are available include income deduction, interception of tax returns and other payments, liens placed on property owned by the non-paying parent, a contempt of court order, which may result in fines or jail time may be issued and the issuance of an arrest warrant against the non-paying parent. In addition, suspension of a hunting or fishing license, driver’s license or business or occupational license is also possible, as well as the denial of a passport. Negative credit reporting is also a possible consequence for failure to pay child support.
In addition to resources available to help enforce child support orders, resources are also available to help parents having difficulty paying child support. Simply ignoring child support obligations, however, is not an option. The family law process offers resources for child support modifications based on significant change in circumstances of the parent or child, which may help either a paying or recipient parent seeking to modify a child support order.
Child support is important for families, paying parents and recipient parents, which is why the family law process provides enforcement options, as well as modification options when the circumstances merit a modification. It is important to reach out to the family law court and not simply ignore child support concerns and problems. Utilize it as a resource to help families with their child support concerns.
Source: Florida Revenue, “Paying Child Support; It’s the Law . . .,” Accessed Nov. 14, 2016