A Safeguard In Place For Children
Child support is ordered by Florida courts to help ensure divorced parents have the financial means necessary to support their children. Given the seriousness with which courts take the care and protection of children, state officials are fastidious about the enforcement of child support demanded by court order.
It may not be necessary to pursue legal action if a child support payment was missed. Sometimes, the party required to make child support payments may have a legitimate reason for not making the scheduled payments or not paying the full amount. However, if missed child support payments become a regular habit, it may be time to take action.
An experienced attorney can provide assistance in this potentially challenging situation. Especially if you and an ex-spouse participated in contentious negotiations over child support at the time of a divorce, things may turn personal and unpleasant without a calm presence.
When Child Support Enforcement May Be Needed
If the child support that is owed you in a divorce agreement is not being paid, it can be difficult to know when to seek legal help. You may wish to keep things as amicable as possible with an ex-spouse, and involving a lawyer in child support enforcement efforts may seem antagonistic.
For the sake of you and the kids, however, it is important to do everything possible to protect your legal rights under the terms of a divorce agreement, including if:
- Child support payments are late on a regular basis.
- The full amount of child support isn’t being paid.
- Living or custody arrangements involving the child have changed.
- Contacting the other parent does nothing to correct the situation.
- Circumstances have changed to prevent one parent from making full payments.
Experienced attorneys can pursue numerous avenues to collect unpaid child support, and a parent who refuses to pay child support in Florida may face wage garnishment, fines, loss of his or her driver’s license and jail time.
However, before those efforts are pursued, most attorneys will take steps to seek an amicable solution via correspondence or direct contact with the other party. Additional steps may be required to seize assets or pursue civil or criminal action, depending on the circumstances involved with your case.
Securing The Services Of An Attorney
As suggested above, certain circumstances may occur that make it difficult or impossible for one party to comply with the court-ordered child support payments. For example, the loss of a job or a prolonged illness may require modification to the current child support order.
When that happens, it’s critical to contact an attorney immediately. Changes in time-sharing arrangements or unexpected major expenses such as car or home repairs may also warrant child support adjustments.
A lawyer can provide information on all matters related to child support as well as alimony, spousal support and maintenance and other financial aspects of divorce that contribute to how much the termination of a marriage costs.