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Options for collecting overdue child support

On Behalf of | May 9, 2023 | Divorce, Family Law |

A Florida family law case with a divorce, child custody and other issues can be emotionally draining and difficult to get beyond. There is an inevitable sense of relief when it is finally over. However, just because the court case is concluded does not mean new problems won’t come up.

One problem that might arise involves one party not abiding by their orders. This can be particularly problematic with child support.

When a noncustodial parent is expected to pay child support and fails to do so, the custodial parent has alternatives to try and collect. Before getting angry and taking matters into their own hands, it is useful to have legal help just as it is during the divorce itself.

What can be done to ensure child support payments are made?

Parents who are ordered to pay child support are expected to comply. If they do not, the state can take enforcement actions. A simple strategy is to come to a payment agreement like the payments that are made for the original support order. This can be done monthly until the supporting parent catches up to what they owe.

There could be an order for income withholding. The support notice will be sent to the paying parent’s employer and the employer will withhold the payments to send to the Florida Disbursement Unit which in turn will send the payments to the custodial parent.

Suspension actions can be taken so the parent who owes support has their driver’s license, recreational license or a business license suspended. This can cause them significant problems if they need to drive or need their business license to work. The objective is to compel them to pay what they owe.

Parents can be taken to court or they can have liens placed on their property. This happens if they own more than $600. Various properties including an automobile can have a lien placed on it if it is worth at least $2,500. They will then have 60 days to pay what they owe, come to a payment agreement or contest it. The payments can also be taken directly out of the person’s bank account and the failure to pay can be reported to credit bureaus.