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What can happen if a Florida parent doesn't pay child support?

Every parent ordered to pay child support in Florida would be wise to take this obligation seriously. Not only is it a way to ensure that both parents play a role in supporting a child, child support is also a court order that comes with serious consequences if a parent does not comply.

Below, we examine some of the penalties that the courts can put in place to enforce a child support in Florida. 

Financial penalties

Failure to pay child support can lead financial penalties, including:

  • Wage garnishment
  • Interception of income tax refunds
  • Withdrawal of past-due amount from lottery winnings
  • Liens placed on homes, vehicles and other property

Professional and personal penalties

If you do not comply with support orders, you can also suffer these consequences:

  • Suspension of licenses to fish, hunt and/or drive
  • Suspension of business or professional licenses regulated by the state
  • Notification of delinquency to employer and credit bureaus
  • Denial of passport

Criminal penalties

In some cases, the failure to pay child support can result in criminal actions, including:

  • The issue of an arrest warrant
  • Jail sentences
  • Federal charges for misdemeanor or felony

Avoiding these penalties

In order to avoid these penalties, it is critical that parents stay current with their child support obligations. Should an issue arise where payment is not possible, or if you disagree with the amount the courts have ordered you to pay, then you can talk to an attorney about seeking a modification. Doing so sooner than later can help you avoid or minimize penalties. 

If you are a parent seeking child support from a delinquent parent, then you can also talk to an attorney to examine the options for enforcement. Taking matters into your own hands is generally unwise, and you could wind up doing more harm than good.

Child support matters are very serious, and they should be taken seriously by everyone involved. In the event of a dispute, question or concern, you can talk to an attorney to learn more about your rights and the legal options available.

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