How To Enforce A Child Support Order
One of the main issues that you and your spouse or the other parent of your child must determine in a divorce or paternity action is the proper amount of support for a child. Florida guidelines help determine the right amount of support, but once the order is issued the noncustodial parent does not always follow through with payment. At Bubley & Bubley, P.A. in Tampa, our experienced family law attorneys are here to help you get the support you need for your child. To learn more, call or contact our office today.
Contempt of Court
One method of enforcement for child support is through a contempt of court hearing. A petition is made by the parent that is supposed to receive child support to the court that requests the noncustodial be held in contempt. If the noncustodial parent is found to be willfully refusing to pay child support, the court can hold them in contempt until the payments are made. This can include daily accruing fines on top of the child support owed as well as jail time for egregious violations.
If the receipt of child support is a recurring issue, another option is to request that the court order a wage garnishment, or income withholding order, on the parent paying support. The order is given to the parent’s employer, who is required by law to withhold a portion of each paycheck, usually up to ten percent, and send it directly to the parent receiving support. A wage garnishment bypasses the parent paying support entirely and ensures regular support payments in some amount so long as the noncustodial parent remains employed.
Liens and Sales
Another option to enforce child support payments is through the use of liens. A lien can be placed on real estate or personal property, and if the property is sold it must be paid first before the seller can collect any profits. Liens can last up to twenty years and can also be paid off by the property owner before putting the property up for sale. A sheriff’s sale can also be ordered by the court to pay off child support in arrears. With some exceptions for exempt property, the sheriff can hold an auction of personal property and real estate, with the profits of the sale going directly to the parent owed support. Typically, a sheriff’s sale is one of the methods of last resort for collecting past due child support, but it could be an option in your case. To learn more, call or contact our office today.
Talk to Our Office Now
Whether you owe or are owed child support, an experienced family law attorney can help you review your options. Do you have questions about how to enforce a child support order or wish to secure the services of a qualified Tampa family law attorney to help? If so, you have come to the right place at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation.