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Penalties for unpaid child support

Paying child support is essential for any parent in Florida who has a court order to do so. The Florida Department of Revenue explains that the court order specifies how often child support payments should be made, as well as how much they should be. The money goes toward food, clothing and shelter for the child, which is often enough motivation. 

Because many people do not send child support to the custodial parent as ordered, the agency has the authority to take any of the following actions to collect and deliver the funds:

  •          Require employers to withhold wages
  •          Take workers’ compensation payments
  •          Garnish money from personal bank accounts
  •          Take winnings from Florida lottery payouts of at least $600
  •          Intercept a state income tax refund

The FDR may also place a lien on personal property, such as a car or a boat, or deduct a percentage of a parent’s Reemployment Benefits.

A parent will receive late payment notices from the FDR if he or she falls behind on child support. An appointment notice requests that the parent visit a nearby office, where options for catching up on the account balance can be negotiated. A driver license suspension notice may also be sent. Upon receiving this notice, a parent must visit the agency within 20 days to work out a plan for catching up on the payments or risk losing his or her license.

Seton Hall University notes that Florida also imposes quarterly interest on the amount in arrears. Other costs and a service charge may also be added to the delinquent child support. If a parent does not pay all penalties as well as the balance of the account, the information may be sent to credit reporting agencies.

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