Child Support Lawyer | Family Law Services | Flagler Beach, Florida
Our attorneys will fight for your child’s right to financial child support
The State of Florida recognizes child support as a legal right of a child. Both parents are mandated to provide financial support, as determined by the Florida Child Support Guidelines. Child support payments are ordered in a legally binding divorce decree. The amount of child support is based on both parent’s incomes and the amount of time that each parent spends with the child. Even in cases of joint custody, the non-custodial parent will generally pay the custodial parent, based on the number of overnight stays. Child support coverage is for the costs of child rearing, including living quarters, food, educational expenses, extracurricular activities, day care, transportation and travel fees, medical costs not covered by insurance and college fees.
What happens if you don’t pay child support?
The failure to fulfill the parental obligation of financial support has very serious legal consequences. Penalties for non-payment of court ordered child support to the custodial parent are strictly enforced and include the following;
- Liens against property or assets.
- Wage garnishment.
- Modifying custody arrangements.
- Driver’s license suspension.
- Suspension of any professional licenses.
- Reduction of credit score.
- Seized bank accounts.
- Seized income tax refunds.
- Fines and/or jail time.
Modifications to Child Support or Court Orders
Child support payments can be modified if there is a change in circumstances, such as the non-custodial parent losing their job or having other economic hardship. Payments can also be modified if there are any changes in the needs of the child or if there has been a modification of the custody arrangement. For an ex- spouse that is blatantly refusing to comply with a child support order, a Motion for Contempt can be filed with the court and jail time can be the penalty. For an ex- spouse that relocates to another state to avoid having to pay child support, the Uniform Interstate Family Act provides jurisdiction over a child support debtor, thereby action can be initiated to ensure compliance.
If the biological parents of a child are not married, the obligation of child support remains the same. In some cases, the biological father of the child will admit his parentage and the court will order child support payments. If the alleged biological father of the child is denying parentage, it becomes necessary for a paternity action to take place before the court orders child support payments.
A private child support arrangement between the parents of a child without court intervention is not encouraged. It is best to have a court order, so that there is a legal obligation for a child support debtor. If your ex- spouse falls behind on child support payments or is refusing to comply with the court order, it is essential to have a skilled family law attorney. Gather evidence for the court, such as witnesses, text messages, e-mails or voice mails that indicate your ex-spouse’s refusal to pay.
Contact a Child Support Attorney Today
Contact the Law Office of Lisa M. Dawson, P.A., for guidance in negotiating the court system. We are aware of how a financial hardship can impact the life of a child, contributing to long term behavioral, social and emotional concerns. We will bring you the best possible outcome for the future of your family.