How to handle unpaid child support

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2022 | Family law

Florida law requires both parents to financially support their child, even if their relationship ends. If you have custody of your children and do not receive court-ordered child support, you have legal recourse.

Learn more about what to do if your child’s other parent fails to pay child support.

File a motion

When child support goes unpaid, you can file a motion for civil contempt with the Florida court that issued the initial order. This motion indicates that you have a court-approved, valid order for child support and that the other parent has not paid.

Attend the hearing

Upon receiving your form, the court will schedule a hearing to determine whether the other parent has the ability to pay. You must prove the existence of the court order, but you do not have to prove that the other parent can pay. The judge will review the evidence he or she provides and decide. If the other parent does not attend the hearing, he or she will be in contempt of court.

Review the court order

If the court finds in favor of your motion, read the court order to learn what happens next. Depending on the circumstances, the judge might let the other parent catch up with a payment plan. The court can also garnish his or her wages and bank accounts and seize lottery winnings or tax returns.

When failure to pay continues, Florida will take other measures to obtain child support. The court can suspend the nonpaying parent’s driver’s license, put a lien on real estate, and take workers’ compensation payments and other benefits.