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What Are the Repercussions of Failing to Pay Child Support?

Child support is a fundamental element in the upbringing of a child when the child’s parents are separated. These payments ensure the child is still taken care of financially by providing a necessary amount to provide basic necessities and protect their upbringing.

At The FAB Law Firm, we recognize that child support is more than a financial obligation; it's a parental pledge to cater to the best interests of the child. When child support payments stop for any prolonged period, it puts the child at risk of not having the necessary resources to live, thrive, and grow.

So, what are the repercussions of a Florida parent refusing to pay child support?

Providing Notice to the Court

Before we get into the repercussions, it’s important to understand the process of notifying the court. The Florida courts possess the authority to enforce child support orders through a number of different means.

Reporting delays and providing evidence of non-payment puts the onus on the court to take enforcement actions. This is crucial in safeguarding your child's interests. Once the court is aware, an investigation will proceed to verify the parent’s ability and refusal to pay.

Garnishing Wages

Once the court confirms the lack of payment and determines a past-due amount, enforcement actions are able to take place. If a parent continues to dodge child support payments, wage garnishment is the most likely first consequence.

Florida laws permit as much as 65% of an individual's disposable earnings to be claimed for child support. Doing so sends a signal to the parent that they will pay child support one way or the other, whether voluntarily or by court action.

The court will issue a letter to their employer (which obviously carries a level of embarrassment with it) to inform them of the garnishment. This letter outlines the amount of each paycheck that must be garnished in order to satisfy the past-due amount.

Incarceration Until Satisfaction of Past-Due Child Support

In situations where there's a deliberate evasion of payment, despite having the means, and garnishment isn’t enough or an option, the court can actually order a parent to be detained. This severe measure is reserved for egregious cases where all other enforcement methods have failed.

This underscores the critical nature of child support and the lengths the legal system will go to ensure compliance. It’s important to note how rare this is and that it’s generally considered a last resort, but it’s still a consequence to be aware of and avoid at all costs.

Having Issues with Florida Child Support? Get a Lawyer.

Dealing with child support issues can be complex, whether you're sending or receiving payments. The FAB Law Firm sees this often and stands by a child’s right to have the necessary financial resources to live, learn, and grow.

If you’re dealing with challenges related to Florida child support payments, consulting with the experienced attorneys at The FAB Law Firm is a step towards protecting your rights and fulfilling your child's entitlement to financial support.

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