If you reside in the city of Tampa, Florida and are not receiving your court ordered child support from your child’s other parent (or payee), there are steps you can take to be sure that the support order is enforced. Choosing to get help enforcing your child’s support isn’t an act of selfishness, greed, or revenge. It is so that you may sure they have essentials such as food, clothing, and shelter.
In the State of Florida, once the court orders child support, the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) is the office that enforces the law.
Some parents have questions about child support collection or resist asking for help enforcing the support, because they are worried about how the process will affect the payee. The Florida DOR will do everything they can to work with the parent in neglect of support. It does not help them, or you, to place or keep the payee in a legal position where they are unable to pay due to lost income or imprisonment. In many cases, support can be resumed without ever getting as far as using arrest for enforcement.
The first step in child support enforcement Tampa Florida is sending late payment notices to alert him or her that they are late on their payment. If, for any reason, the payee does not visit or call the DOR to explain their situation and work on a solution, other collection methods may be employed.
Methods of Enforcement to Collect Support:
Income Withholding: The DOR will contact the payee’s employer and request that some of the payee’s wages be withheld from their paycheck and sent directly to the DOR.
Appointment Notice: The DOR will contact the payee by mail asking them to come to the office to work on a resolution and help them find ways to afford to pay the support.
Driver License Suspension: The DOR does not automatically suspend the payee’s license without warning. The payee receives a letter giving them 20 days to act before their license is suspended. The payee can pay the support, enter into a written agreement to pay the support and back-support, or file to contest the suspension. It is only when the payee does nothing upon getting the notice, essentially ignoring it, that his or her license is suspended after 20 days. Once suspended, they must pay, or at least go into an agreement to make monthly payments, in order to have their license reinstated.
Business, Professional, and Recreational License Suspension: The DOR will send a written notice to the payee if they have a business license (for example: they own a store), a professional license (for example: they are a nurse), or a recreational license (for example: Boating) that the license will be suspended in 30 days if they do not take action. The process is similar to the driver’s license suspension above, in that they have multiple options to avoid suspension.
In addition to some of the methods above; the payee could have money garnished from his or her bank account, or they could have a percentage of worker’s compensation or Re-employment benefits attached. If they win the lottery or get an IRS tax refund, the DOR can attach those funds as well. A lien can be put on a boat or motor vehicle, so that if the payee tries to sell it that the DOR can attach any profit. In cases of over $2500 in debt, the payee cannot renew their passport until the support is paid.
Ultimately, an arrest if a warrant is issued for non-appearance in a Tampa circuit court for unpaid support can happen, if the payee repeatedly ignores orders by the court and many opportunities to work with the DOR. Many methods to get the support for you and your child will be used, so that your child can be better financially supported.
If you have any questions about child support enforcement Tampa Florida or if you would like to speak to us about your options, please contact North Tampa Law Group at (813) 518-7411 or complete a free online case evaluation. We represent clients during stressful and difficult times in their lives. We are empathetic, responsive, and push for a quick resolution. We look forward to helping you resolve your issue quickly, fairly, and in a way that will help you to return to the stable, predictable life that you deserve.