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Child support payment enforcement: what tools does the state use?

Some of our readers may wonder what the state of Florida does to enforce child support payments. Child support payments come from the noncustodial parent, which is the parent with whom the child is not living but still has a legal responsibility to financially support the child.

First and foremost, child support is often paid through income deductions. If a noncustodial parent has a job, the support payments will be deducted from his or her paycheck. Businesses in the state report any new or rehired workers to the state's child support agency. This helps the state know where the noncustodial parent is working so they can deduct child support payments from their paycheck.

If a parent fails to pay support payments or falls behind, the state has the right to suspend his or her licenses, including driver, fishing and hunting licenses. The state can also seize assets, such as lottery winnings, unemployment money or federal tax returns. They can also put a lien on properties, and other valuable items such as boats and cars.

The Child Support Enforcement Program also has the right to ask a judge to find the paying parent in contempt of court. This could lead to a fine or even jail time. The court could also issue an arrest warrant.

In our next post we will continue our discussion on other tools the state can use in terms of child support enforcement. If you are dealing with a situation where child support obligations are not being met, you may want to speak with a lawyer.

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