When couples with children divorce, each parent is expected to continue to provide support for their children. The exact nature and expectations of this support are laid out in a child support agreement, which both parents sign. This document explains what each parent must financially contribute for the development and support of their children.
However, occasionally one parent will fail to meet his or her obligations. Florida takes these violations extremely seriously. If a parent is not making child support payments, the other has a number of legal options at his or her disposal.
The most common option for a parent seeking child support payments is to file a motion for civil contempt. This is a written request submitted to the court that essentially states that there is a valid child support order in place and one of the parents is in violation of it. Once this motion is filed, it is up to the court to determine if the noncustodial parent is in contempt. If it finds that the parent is, it will order a number of penalties, including delinquent payments, fines and even jail time.
To bring a delinquent parent up-to-date with payments, courts may make a number of different arrangements with that parent. The simplest of these is to establish a payment plan for that parent to follow that will not only bring them current, but also keep them current with their obligations. If the court finds that the delinquent parent is unlikely to honor this arrangement, it may take more severe action, such as withholding a portion of that parent’s income, garnishing money from his or her bank accounts, placing liens on his or her property or even requiring the same of that property.
If your former partner is delinquent in child support payments in Florida, you do have options. Work with the family law attorneys at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras to find out how to enforce child support obligations.