If you have custody of your children following a divorce, chances are good that the Florida family court ordered your former spouse to pay you a certain amount of child support per month. Getting the order for child support is only the first step, however, as many parents unfortunately fail to make their required monthly payments. Raising children without the proper financial support is very challenging and can often hurt your kids. For this reason, there are different ways in Florida to enforce child support orders to make sure you get the support you and your children deserve.
Ways to Collect Child Support
There is no statute of limitations for child support actions in Florida, which means you may try to collect unpaid child support even many years after the payments were due. An experienced Florida family law attorney can help you enforce child support orders and receive any overdue amount.
There are different ways that child support may be obtained, including the following:
· Wage garnishment;
· Seizure of federal tax refunds;
· Garnishment of unemployment or worker's compensation benefits;
· Seizure of lottery winnings;
· Liens against houses, cars, or other property;
· Suspension of their driver's license, professional license, or passport;
· Holding the parent in contempt of court, which could mean up to 179 days in jail; and
· Criminal charges and penalties, including jail time or probation.
Seeking your unpaid child support usually requires the assistance of the courts, therefore you should always contact an experienced Florida family law attorney for assistance in getting the amount you are owed.
Preventing Modification of Child Support Orders
If your child's parent is not paying, he or she may try to claim that they cannot afford the payments due to their personal and professional circumstances. They may try to ask the court to lower the amount of required monthly child support by having the original order modified. However, Florida law states that a court may only modify a child support if the parent can show a substantial change in circumstances. This means that small changes in their lives will not be enough to have an order modified. If the other parent is trying to get the child support payments lowered and has not, in fact, experienced a substantial change in circumstances, an attorney can help you fight against the modification in court.
On the other hand, if you have experienced a substantial change in circumstances that means you need to increase the amount of monthly support you receive, an attorney can help you present your case to the court.
Contact a Family Law Attorney in Fort Lauderdale or Boca Raton
Parents have a duty to financially support their children and there should be no excuse for missing child support payments. If you are owed money for child support, you should not have to simply accept it and you should take action. Experienced attorney Alan R. Burton is dedicated to helping parents receive the support they deserve, so please contact our office today to schedule your free consultation to see how we can help you.