Once a Florida court approves a child support agreement or creates a child support order for a set of parents and for the benefit of their child or children, the financial obligations created therein are binding. Child support is not optional: children depend on the money they receive from their noncustodial parents to meet their education needs, provide them with basic essentials and enjoy their lives following the separation of their parents.

Prior posts on this blog have discussed some of the mechanisms that the state may use to compel a parent to pay their support obligations. A parent may have their driver’s license suspended until their child support payments are made current. They may also have a garnishment placed on their wages that will, over time, satisfy the support they have not paid.

However, there are a variety of other enforcement tools that the state may employ to compel parents to pay. For example, a person may have their application for a passport denied if they owe back child support; they may also have their hunting or fishing license suspended when they have not paid their child support in full.

A parent who owns property may see the state place a lien on that property. A lien is an encumbrance on a property that, if the property is sold, will obligate the lien holder to be paid what they are due from the proceeds of the sale.

The failure of a parent to pay their child support obligation can reach many aspects of their life. It is possible to modify child support agreements and orders. One of the first steps a parent who cannot keep up with their obligation can do is to contact a family law attorney to investigate their options for avoiding the penalties for failing to pay child support.