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The Florida Bar - Marital & Family Law
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Dade Legal Aid

How is Child Support Order Enforced in Florida?

On behalf of The Law Offices of Cindy D. Sackrin posted in Child Support on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

There are a number of ways child support orders are enforced in Florida. Whether you are a child support recipient parent or a parent paying child support in Florida, you may wonder what the enforcement measures are. One way is that the Department of Revenue (DOR) may send notices for income withholding to employers and other sources of income. Banks and other financial institutions may also receive notices for garnishment from the Department of Revenue, concerning parents who owe unpaid child support.

In addition to income withholding, the DOR may seek to suspend a parent's driver's license if they have unpaid child support obligations. Parents who owe child support in Florida will be mailed a notice that their driver's license may be suspended, and they have 20 days from the time of the notice to pay unpaid child support, arrange to pay unpaid child support through a written agreement or contest the notice via a court petition. Once a license has been suspended for failure to pay child support, reinstatement fees may apply to have the license reinstated.

Likewise, parents who owe unpaid child support may also have their business or professional licenses suspended. From the date the notice is sent, the recipient parent has 30 days to pay unpaid child support, arrange to pay unpaid child support through a written agreement or request a hearing. If no response is received from the recipient parent within 30 days, the DOR will make a request of the agency issuing the business or professional license to suspend the license.

Also, parents who owe greater than $2,500 in unpaid child support are unable to renew their passports or may have a passport application denied. Other methods of child support enforcement can include the intercept of federal tax returns, the use of workers' compensation benefits to pay unpaid child support or liens may be placed on property owned by the parent owing unpaid child support. Reports of the unpaid child support may also be made to credit reporting agencies. Additional measures for the collection and enforcement of child support may also be taken.

The legal process provides options for parents seeking to collect, or owing, child support. For many parents, either circumstance can be a difficult situation to be in, which is why child support enforcement and child support modification options are available depending on the unique circumstances of each parent's situation.

Source: Florida Department of Revenue, "Enforcement of Child Support Orders," Accessed Sept. 27, 2015

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