Ramifications of Failing to Pay Child Support
The Florida Department of Revenue is the government entity that runs the state’s Child Support Enforcement Program. The Department of Revenue provides services for nearly 1 million children and collects over $1 billion each year in child support.
This post is meant to inform both the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent of what can happen if the noncustodial parent fails to pay child support as ordered by the court.
Register Your Case
We recommend to all custodial parents to first register your child support case with the Department of Revenue. In the event the noncustodial parent fails to pay court-ordered child support, the Department of Revenue then has all the information needed to enforce payment.
What Can Happen if Payment is Not Made
If the noncustodial parent fails to pay court-ordered child support, there are many tools the State uses to encourage the parent to pay. The following includes some of the tools used:
- Wage Garnishment
Whenever companies hire new employees, the companies report the new hires to the government for tax purposes and child support purposes. When the state learns of the noncustodial parent’s employment, the state can then garnish the parent’s wages to provide the child support.
- License Suspension
The state can also suspend the delinquent noncustodial parent’s driver’s license, as well as hunting and fishing licenses.
- Liens and Seizure of Assets
If the noncustodial parent becomes delinquent with regard to child support payments, the state can file a lien against all of the noncustodial parent’s property, such as land, homes, and cars. In addition, the state can seize assets, such as lottery winnings, tax refunds, and unemployment payments.
- Contempt of Court
If the noncustodial parent fails to pay court-ordered child support, the failure is a violation of the court order. The state can request the court find the noncustodial parent in contempt of court. If the court does find the parent in contempt of court, the parent can be ordered to pay a large fine and possibly go to jail.
- Suspension of Professional License
The state can also suspend a delinquent noncustodial parent’s professional license, such as a contractor’s license, engineering license, medical license, or any other business or professional license that is regulated by the state.
- Denial of Passport
If the delinquent noncustodial parent owes a large amount of back child support, the government can deny that person’s application for a U.S. passport.
Also, if the delinquent noncustodial parent owes a large amount of back child support, the state can report that debt to the credit reporting bureaus. Failure to pay child support can affect a person’s credit, which, in turn, can affect the person’s ability to make purchases, apply for credit, and in some cases obtain employment.
Speak with a Family Law Attorney Now
If you are concerned about a lapse in child support payments, whether by you or the other parent, you should immediately contact an experienced Tampa family law attorney at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. We can help you get your child support payments back on track.