The payment and collection of child support in the state of Florida often times can become a frustrating process. On the surface, the receipt of child support payments should be a straightforward matter.
The most effective remedy for the collection of child support is to invoke the contempt powers of the court. What exactly do we mean by invoking this process in the court system?
Initially there must be a court order which directs the obligor to pay a certain amount of child support, usually on a monthly basis. If the support payments become delinquent, the recipient has the right to bring the obligor (payor) before the judge, and to seek incarceration.
Having someone put in jail for non payment of support is not the easiest thing to do. First, the recipient of the child support, or alimony, must first prove to the court that the payor had the present ability to pay the court ordered support, and that the payor willfully refused to pay his child support or alimony.
Once this step is proven, you then need to demonstrate to the court that the person responsible for the payment of child support or alimony has the ability to either pay the full amount of the delinquency or a portion thereof. Once that amount has been established, it becomes the “purge” payment, and the payor can be sent off to jail until he pays the purge amount.
More often than not, the judge will usually give the payor a few days or up to a week to pay the purge amount, and if it isn’t paid within the required time, then jail would be appropriate.
The payor would remain in jail until such time as the purge is paid.
A simple straightforward analysis of this process is found in the case of Ramirez v. Ramirez, 4D11-3818 (April 4, 2012).