11 Nov The Steps to Take If You Aren’t Getting the Full Amount of Court-Ordered Child Support
It can be incredibly frustrating to fight for the child support that you are rightfully owed based on your order from the court. However, you can find some comfort knowing that Florida takes child support non-payment very seriously, and the enforcement unit can work in conjunction with The Chesnutt Law Firm to ensure that you are getting the child support payments you are entitled to when they are due. What happens when you are not getting the full amount of child support that the other parent was court-ordered to pay?
What Does the Law Require?
First, it’s important to note that the child support amount must be court-ordered in order for it to be enforceable. This is why verbal agreements and things outside of court are a no-no when it comes to child custody. The state will use the court-ordered child support amount as what is due, and even if you have a verbal agreement from the other parent stating otherwise, that is not considered enforceable.
How Can You Enforce Child Support?
Especially when compared to other states, Florida has very firm laws that make sure parents are paying child support. When someone violates the order, you can work with your lawyer to file a motion for civil contempt. This is your way of telling the court that you have a child support order that needs to be enforced and the noncustodial parent is behind on payments. When you are filing the motion, you will need to demonstrate three things to the court:
- You have a valid child support order signed by a judge
- The other parent has not paid child support in accordance with the order
- The other parent has the ability to pay
It’s important to note that the court will assume the other parent has the ability to pay and it will be up to them to demonstrate otherwise. If the judge thinks you presented a strong case, they will issue an order stating how and when the other parent will pay. The judge can also elect to issue penalties including fines or jail time to the other parent.
How Can the Money Be Collected?
Once the parent has been held in contempt, the judge can use a variety of remedies to help you get the owed funds and future payments. Remedies can include:
- Withholding income from paychecks
- Intercepting federal or state tax refunds
- Place liens on vehicles or force their sale
- Place liens on real estate or property or force their sale
- Garnishing money from financial accounts
- Freezing a home equity line
- Intercepting workers compensation funds
- And more
We are here to help you get what you deserve.