After a divorce, many custodial parents rely on child support payments from non-custodial parents in order to provide for their children and make ends meet. But what happens if your child support payments stop coming? Florida family courts take non-payment very seriously and can help you if you take the proper steps.
First, you need to make sure you actually have a child support order from Florida family courts. Child support is typically ordered by a judge during divorce proceedings. It is signed by the judge and includes information about how much must be paid and how often payment is required. If you do not have a court order for child support, unfortunately your ex is not legally required to pay you anything and any verbal agreement you may have made between yourselves cannot be enforced.
If you do have a court order for child support and it has not been paid, your ex is actually breaking the law by going against the judge’s orders and can be held in contempt of court.
Once you’ve established that you have a child support order, you’ll need to gather evidence of non-payment. Consult with an experienced family law attorney to determine what documents will be necessary in your situation. It can depend on how your ex has historically paid, such as by check, bank transfer, or by depositing money with the state. It may be as simple as pulling your bank records and showing that the deposits ceased, but some cases may require more complex documentation. Again, your lawyer can help you determine what documents you need to provide to prove that your ex has not paid your court ordered child support.
Next, it’s time to go to Florida family court. You will need to file a motion depending on what you want the court to do. You can file a Motion for Enforcement if you just want them to make your ex pay up, or you can file a Motion for Contempt if you think your ex should be held in contempt of court, and potentially face charges.
Finally, you will need to make sure your ex is served with the motion and schedule a time for a hearing. Ultimately, the court may garnish your ex’s wages, make them sell property, put a lien on their property, or even jail them until payment is made. If they are unable to pay because they got laid off or are facing other economic issues, they may be able to request a modification of the child support orders.
Who can help?
If your ex has stopped paying court-ordered child support, The FAB Law Firm can help you. We understand what a frustrating situation you’re facing and are eager to assist. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call at (888) 262-1618 to book a consultation. We can’t wait to hear from you!