Parents are required to provide their children with the necessities and care they need to survive and thrive in life. When parents get a divorce or separate, child support becomes essential in order to ensure custodial parents have the financial resources to cover their children’s needs like food, shelter, clothes, education, healthcare, and more. Unfortunately, not all parents take this duty seriously and may stop paying or get behind on paying their child support.
So, what does a custodial parent do in this situation? Keep reading to find out.
Don’t Wait to Take Action
When a parent stops making their support payments, the court will take the matter very seriously. Not only will the parent be required to make their normal payments, but they will also have to repay any others that they missed. The first step to take is to file a case against the other parent through the local child support office.
The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) can enforce parents to make their child support payments or file a case for a hearing. In a hearing, the case will be held in front of a hearing officer, who will then recommend the judge on what would be the best ruling in the case. The DOR will then file a “Motion for Contempt,” which is where the hearing officer determines whether the parent willfully failed to pay their child support.
What are the Penalties for Not Paying Child Support?
Failing to pay child support is a serious offense. If a parent is found to willfully not paying their child support, there are several penalties.
A parent that does not pay their child support may receive the following penalties:
- Driver’s license suspension or vehicle registration suspension;
- Pay a fine;
- May have their bank accounts seized;
- Have their income tax refund seized; or
- Jail or prison time.
Modifying Child Support
In some cases, people can fall behind on child support payments because their financial situation has changed. This can happen due to numerous reasons, including:
- Reduction in pay
- Loss of employment
- Illness or injury preventing them from working
However, if the parent is not paying support, warrants and court orders may be issued, which can result in fines that begin to add up, interruptions in their career, or even credit score reductions. When a significant change in their financial circumstances has occurred, it may be necessary for the parent to seek a modification to the child support order to take into account these changes.
Regardless of whether you are the custodial parent having issues with obtaining child support or the parent legally responsible for paying child support, it is in your best interest to seek legal assistance. At Autumn Beck Blackledge PLLC, we are here to help families with their unique child support matters. Don’t hesitate to contact our Pensacola child support attorneys today to learn how we can assist you.
Take action today. Call our skilled team at (850) 404-7263 to set up a consultation about your child support case.