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Understanding child support enforcement in Florida

If you are going through a divorce, you probably already have plenty of questions. That is natural-divorce is one of the biggest transitions that people can make in life, and it involves just as much change as marriage. If you have kids, one of the most important aspects of divorce and separation to understand is how child custody and child support works, especially when it comes to enforcing custody and support agreements.

The state of Florida has enacted several provisions to help parties who are owed child support collect, and it also has protections in place that allow those paying child support to report problems. No matter which side of the support order you are on, though, it is important that you know exactly what a failure to pay can mean.

Consequences for failure to pay child support

Once your child support payments are in arrears, there are several measures the state can take to attempt to recoup those funds. Some enforcement measures are authorized by the federal government and require its cooperation, others are seen to entirely at the state level. They include:

  • Late payment notices
  • Income withholding
  • Driver license suspension or reinstatement
  • Other license suspensions
  • Appointment notices

The last item is an attempt to bring the party who is missing payments in for a meeting to discuss the status of the payments and to reach some kind of payment agreement. There are also more extreme measures that can be taken to ensure the money is delivered to the receiving party, typically by withholding:

  • Lottery winnings
  • Federal income tax returns
  • Reemployment benefits
  • Workers' compensation

In some cases, the court might escalate to personal property liens, credit reporting, or even passport denial.

Finding the right family law attorney

If you are going through a divorce with kids, you need the right family law attorney to help you make sure the decision is fair and workable. Whether you are seeking custody or simply trying to make sure that child support arrangements are fair to everyone, family law attorneys are the best way to make sure you have the experienced help you need for the duration of your divorce proceedings.

Divorce and family law lawyers can also help when you need support orders adjusted, so make sure you find one that understands you and your case. That means finding the lawyer who knows how complex child support issues can be, and who is dedicated to helping you make sure that you get everything you need to move forward once the divorce is final.

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