After a divorce, many parents rely on regular child support payments from their former spouse to help with childcare expenses. However, parents owe almost 400,000 Florida children almost $7 billion in unpaid child support.
Why do such a large amount of court-ordered support payments go unpaid?
Parents report cases closed with little effort
Many parents report that the Department of Revenue closed their cases after making little effort to collect. Recent data that ranks Florida as one of the worst states in the nation for child support enforcement backs these parents’ claims.
Federal data shows that the state performed worse than 44 other states on initiating child support. With 38% of parents failing to pay support on time, the state ranks 36th in on-time payments. Additionally, more late payments to Florida parents resulted because of errors, legal issues and missing information than in any other state in the country.
Options for parents
The Florida Department of Revenue is the main agency responsible for enforcing child support. However, you can request the Clerk’s Office to send out a notice of delinquency if your former spouse is 15 or more days late making a child support payment.
If your spouse fails to pay within 20 days, the court will enter a judgment that will become a lien against any real property your former spouse owns. You may also be able to request assistance to obtain an income deduction order from the court that requires your former spouse’s employer to deduct a specific amount from your former spouse’s paycheck.
Some child support cases may take years to resolve. Parents who are having trouble collecting child support payments may benefit from legal representation.