Florida courts take a strong stance when it comes to enforcing child support for children of divorced parents. Parents who don’t obey court ordered child support payments can face severe consequences including wage garnishments, property liens, withholding of federal tax returns, and suspension of driver’s licenses.
Although child support orders are strictly enforced in Florida, some parents openly defy their financial obligations. By using deceptive practices, some parents are able to hide from their child support obligations and prolong periods of non-payment. When a parent hides or under-reports income, changes jobs frequently, or moves around often, enforcing child support becomes much more difficult for the court. A parent who tries to dodge child support obligations for any reason places the other parent with primary parental responsibility in financial hardship. The primary parent may be forced to spend more money to enforce child support orders, depleting their funds for necessary child expenses. Unfortunately, the person often harmed the most in this scenario is the child.
When court ordered child support payments are ignored, the federal government is prepared to step in with a wage garnishment order. Wage garnishment automatically deducts the amount owed for child support payments from the parent’s paycheck. The support payment is then remitted to the State Disbursement Unit, which automatically forwards it to the appropriate parent.
Florida, like all states, receives federal funding that is used to assist parents in enforcing child support orders and locating “deadbeat” parents who ignore support obligations. However, the time required for such enforcement measures can take months, or in some cases years. If the minor child is a teenager, or approaching the age of 18, a support order may be rendered moot if enforcement actions drag on for years. Although courts are adamant about enforcing child support payments in all divorce cases, state and federal budget cuts in recent years have made enforcement actions slower and more complicated than in past years. If you are a parent who has primary custody, and your ex-spouse is ignoring his/her child support obligations, contact your child support Pasco County attorney for help.