Law Office of Alejandro R. Lopez, P.A.

Orlando, Florida Law Firm

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Child Support Enforcement In Florida

In Florida, a parent must have a written child support order or judgment signed by a Circuit Court Judge before the child support can be enforced if the other parent fails to pay it. When there is a child support order or judgment and the parent ordered to pay it does not do so, the amount owed is called “child support arrears”. If no child support order exists, when the order or judgment is entered any back amount of child support owed is called “retroactive child support”. There are several ways to enforce child support arrears in Florida. Some of them are:

  1. A motion for contempt before the Court asking the Court to establish the owed amount of arrears, and to incarcerate the parent who is to pay them, for up to 179 days in jail in a civil contempt or until the parent pays the whole amount or part of it,
  2. Suspending the driver’s license, registration, and license plate of the parent who is to pay the child support arrears until the parent pays part of the arrears,
  3. Intercepting the Federal Income Tax Return monies of the parent who owes the child support arrears,
  4. Cancelling the passport of the parent who owes the child support arrears until he/she pays them,
  5. Garnishing the owing parent’s bank account(s) until the child support arrears are paid.

Those methods of enforcement require legal work. The parent to whom the child support arrears are owed may request the services of the Florida Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement, to proceed without any cost to that parent with the necessary legal work.

However, the Florida Department of Revenue has thousands of cases and it is difficult for it to process such a high volume of cases with the speed a parent may require. Also, the parent who is to receive the child support arrears never sees the Department of Revenue’s lawyer representing her/him throughout the process, but sees her/his lawyer for the first time at the Court hearing. A private attorney can proceed with the legal work for a fee. The difference is that there is much more contact between the private lawyer and his/her client in the process of collecting the child support arrears. The client sees her/his lawyer with much more frequency, therefore, having more time to prepare the legal case to obtain collection of the arrears.

Our Firm’s attorney has the knowledge of a Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement lawyer (having been previously employed as one) and, if you are a parent deciding to hire the services of a private attorney to collect child support arrears under a Court order or judgment, you may want to consider using our lawyer’s knowledge and experience to help you process your case. Contact us at (407) 278-5359 or through our website for an appointment . It will be our privilege to represent you.