What Happens At A Child Support Enforcement Hearing In Orange County?
You got divorced two years ago, with young children ages 5 and 3. You retain primary physical custody of both children and are supposed to receive $450 a month from your co-parent. Since the final divorce and custody hearing two years ago, he has only made one payment. Apparently, he has been unable to find work despite advanced education and a well-paying job while you were both still married. How do you confront this issue? Should you file a request with the Orange County Circuit Court?
What are Child Support Arrears?
Child support arrears is the legal term for back-owed child support. A parent with an active child support order cannot unilaterally decide to stop making payments or make small payment than what is legally required of them. If there has been a material change in circumstances, such as loss of all income, an incarceration, or relocation out of the state, the non-custodial parent can file a motion with the presiding court asking for a modification of child support, but there is no guarantee that the modification would be improved.
Doing nothing at all means the amount owed will continue to add up and end up in arrears. Once back-owed child support is in arrears, the Florida Department of Revenue has several options for pursuing it. When parents sign a child support order, they also agree to wage garnishment, suspension of their driver’s license, and other means to recover what is owed to the child via the custodial parent if they do not make timely payments. Some parents attempt to dodge payments by working under the table, but this is also illegal. Child support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy and continues to remain due even after the child turns 18.
What Happens at a Department of Revenue Child Support Hearing?
The Florida Department of Revenue oversees child support hearings in conjunction with family court magistrates and judges for each county, such as Orange County. When there is a dispute as to the payment of child support, the Child Support Program can help custodial parents pursue the action to court. In some cases, a judgment for non-payment is ordered. A written agreement may also be reached between the parents setting out terms for resolving past-due payments.
If the non-custodial parent is found in contempt of court for non-payment, the judge has direction to order them remanded(incarcerated). A parent will only be found in contempt if they have the financial means to pay their child support order but refuse to do so. Similarly, if that parent does not show up for their court hearing, the judge can issue a warrant for their arrest for failure to appear.
Contact Orlando Child Support Attorneys at Donna Hung Law Group
If you are facing increased action for failure to pay child support and have no means to pay, you need to contact an experienced Orlando child support attorney to help you. Similarly, if your co-parent refuses to acknowledge you, comply with terms of the child support order or even show up to court, you may need to take legal action to seek a resolution. Child support is not optional; the judge made the award to support your shared children. Whatever the issue may be, our Orlando family attorneys at Donna Hung Law Group can assist you. Call us at 407-999-0099 to schedule a consultation.