If you are divorced and on the receiving end of child support, you expect regular payments. Unfortunately, the funds do not always come your way. Dealing with your ex who is failing to pay child support can be frustrating. What can you do? Are there consequences for deadbeat parents who are not adhering to a child support order?
According to Florida child support laws, there are several options to enforce and collect child support. The non-paying parent may even face jail time. Understanding the details of these rules can help you decide how to best handle your situation.
Filing a motion for contempt of court
If your ex is violating a court-issued child support order, you may be able to file a motion for civil contempt. This is simply a written request you submit to the court proving your valid child support order and stating the noncustodial parent is not paying.
After you file this motion, there will be a hearing you both must attend. If the judge finds your ex is not paying and able to pay, the final ruling will detail how the parent should pay support that is overdue. Potential remedies include:
- Intercepting tax refunds
- Establishing a payment plan
- Withholding income from paychecks
- Garnishing money directly from financial accounts
- Placing liens on vehicles or other properties
- Freezing a home equity line
The judge may even order jail time. The court order may also require the delinquent parent to reimburse you for attorney’s fees and other costs related to filing the contempt motion.
You may be able to get the Florida state government to punish the delinquent parent for nonpayment. Under Florida law, a non-paying parent may have his financial accounts frozen, get reported to credit reporting bureaus or get reported to the U.S. Department of State for a passport denial or revocation.