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What are the consequences of failing to pay child support?

In today's day and age, raising a child costs money, which is why even after a couple divorces, both parents are expected to contribute financially for their child's upbringing. This is why divorce settlements include the amount of child support that the noncustodial parent must contribute, taking into account medical expenses, education and everyday expenses.

In Florida, it is the law that both parents shall financially support their child until the child is age 18. This means that paying child support is the law, and if it is not being made paid, either not on time or not in the full amount, then the state can enforce the order. There are various ways this can be done.

The first step taken by the Department of Revenue is deducting income, if the noncustodial parent is working. If this is established, even if the noncustodial parent begins working in another state, his or her income can still be deducted. If there are delinquent payments, the state can also suspend the parent's driving, fishing or even hunting license.

In addition to this, when support is past due, the Child Support Enforcement Program can intercept federal tax refunds. Unemployment compensation and lottery winnings can also be targeted. Banking institutions also work with the organization to deduct money from bank accounts directly. In extreme situations, liens can be taken against property such as houses, land, cars and boats.

It is also possible for the Child Support Enforcement Program to ask the judge to find the noncustodial parent in contempt of court for not abiding by the child support order, and the judge may order them to pay a large amount of money or to go prison for some time as a result. An arrest warrant can also be issued for failure to pay child support.

Family law issues such as child support are taken very seriously by the court and measures are in place to ensure payments are made on time and accurately, as this is in the child's best interests. Florida parents who cannot meet their child support obligations may want to consider consulting an experienced attorney for an agreement modification. And if custodial parents are having issues getting the other parent to comply with the order, they may want to consult an attorney for guidance on enforcement mechanisms.

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