Courts order parents to pay child support for the benefit of their kids when the children’s parents do not live together or function as a couple. For example, when a Florida child’s parents are married then presumably the parents share in the expenses and responsibilities of taking care of that youth. However, when a child’s parents live in separate homes and do not share financial accounts or assets, then it can be more difficult to ensure that each is contributing to the welfare of the child.
If a parent is required to pay child support, that mandate is not optional. It is a judicially enforceable right for the child to receive support from that parent. When a parent fails to keep up with their obligation, then legal action can be taken in an attempt to recover owed support.
Enforcement efforts may focus on bringing unpaid child support up to date. A parent may have their bank accounts seized so that the proceeds can be used to pay off their child support, and the same can happen with a parent’s income tax refunds.
A parent may be penalized through enforcement as well. Their driver’s license may be suspended for failing to pay support, or they may be fined or even jailed for their delinquencies. These penalties apply to parents who willfully refuse to pay child support. Those parents who cannot pay their ordered support due to financial inability may be able to seek child support modification so that their payment amounts become more manageable. This remedy, though, requires that an owing parent be proactive in seeking change. The state takes child support very seriously, and parents who do not maintain their obligations to their kids can find themselves in a very difficult position when enforcement efforts begin against them. Therefore, those facing challenging issues related to child support, whether obtaining it or paying it, should consider discussing the matter with a skilled family law professional.