What Happens When Your Ex Stops Making Child Support Payments?

Photo of a Family Separated by Divorce as Mother Begs for Child Support Payments

Each state in the United States determines how child support will be enforced, and Florida is no exception. Generally speaking, child support is determined by the courts and based on numerous factors, including the number of children involved, parenting time, and income. In the state of Florida, a supporting parent earning minimum wage must pay $74 in child support for one child. This is the minimum amount of child support that could be paid.

Both parents are expected to support their children through the Florida Income Shares Model. This is the Florida child support calculator that is used to estimate the amount to be spent on the children for childcare costs, and it is based on the income of each parent.

Under Florida Child Support Guidelines, children in the state will receive support until they turn 18 years old. However, exceptions do exist. A disabled child can continue to receive child support payments after the age of 18, and children who are still in high school while older than 18 may also be entitled to continue receiving child support.

When Your Ex Stops Making Child Support Payments, What Happens Next?

What happens when the parent responsible for making child support payments simply stops doing so? When child support payments are not made according to the agreement set forth by the Florida court, the parent who is not making the payments could face financial and legal troubles. The potential consequences include a suspension of the parent’s driver’s license, tax refund seizures, lower credit scores and wage garnishments.

Wage garnishments are ordered by the court. This court order tells the parent’s employer to withhold a specific amount from each paycheck so it can be sent to the other parent. If this method fails to ensure the parent paying child support meets their obligations, other methods could be implemented. Child support payments that are later than 30 days can be reported to the three credit bureaus. Continued reporting will occur until the amounts have been paid in full.

For the parent who continues to refuse to pay child support, more extreme measures could be taken. The court may hold the parent refusing to pay child support in contempt and order them to serve time in jail. If the amount owed is more than $5,000 or the child support has not been paid in more than a year, the federal government could even become involved in the issue.

It is important to know that even if a parent’s circumstances have changed substantially, he or she cannot simply stop paying court-ordered child support. Instead, they must petition the court for a modification.

Contact Our Florida Child Custody Attorneys

If your ex has stopped paying child support, it is important to speak to an experienced Melbourne child support attorney as quickly as possible. Your attorney will review all of your legal options, so you can choose the best available course of action. If you are seeking a modification of your existing child support order, we can help with that too! Our office is conveniently located in Melbourne, Florida, and we serve all of Brevard County, Florida. Please contact an experienced divorce lawyer at the Law Office of Jeffrey Thompson today by calling (321)-253-3771.

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