Child support payments for a child in Florida is an extremely protected right. The state of Florida has imposed significant penalties against those who choose not to pay child support, including the loss of driving privileges, the loss of professional and other business licenses, and the loss of freedom..
Prior to the imposition of penalties for non payment of child support, the court must conduct an evidentiary hearing, and provide the non paying parent with an opportunity to explain why the support is not being paid. If the court determines that the non payment has in fact been willful, the parent will be found in contempt, and the next step for the court to consider becomes the penalties to be imposed.
If a determination is made by the court that the non paying parent has either cash or other assets available to pay towards the support owed, that then becomes the "purge payment". The purge payment is the amount necessary to be released from jail, if the judge determines that is the appropriate sanction.
Loss of driving privileges is also possible, until such time as child support becomes current.
An experienced divorce lawyer, who frequently deals with child support, can work with you on these most important issues. It is often times best to deal with non payment of child support issues early on as these matters tend to "snowball" rapidly.
Florida Statute 61.30 governs the provisions and amounts of child support to be paid, based upon the combined earnings of the parents.