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What Happens if I Can’t Pay Child Support?

Child support is a court-mandated amount of money that one or both parents have to pay to provide for the wellbeing of their child’s life. It is typically decided on during a divorce hearing or at the end of a similar relationship. Child support is generally paid on a fixed schedule until the child turns 18 and is considered a legal adult.

But, as with most things, life can have different plans. What should you do if you find yourself unable to pay child support? We discuss what can happen in our blog.

Change of Circumstances

The only way to get a modification to your child support plan is to go before a judge. A judge is the only person who can decide if your circumstances have changed drastically enough to add an amendment to your payment plan. To appear before a judge and make your case, you must file a petition asking the court to change your current agreement, and it does cost a filing fee to do so.

There are few situations where a change can be made, but those situations include the following:

Depending on your circumstances, you may see your payments reduced, or if you’ve been promoted with a pay raise or your child needs more money for their wellbeing, your payments might be increased.

Child Support Laws in Florida

In the state of Florida, if the parent required to pay child support doesn’t or refuses, the Department of Revenue (DOR) will step in to help. They can help locate a parent who avoids payment and set up an income withholding, which takes part of the parent’s paycheck and puts it directly into child support.

If 15 days have passed since the child support payment was due, the DOR will send them a Notice of Delinquency, alerting the parent who owes that they have an outstanding balance and financial obligation to pay. If 5 more days pass, for a total of 20 days, with no payment, a judge will get involved. If a judge is involved, they can place a lien against the owing parent's property. If the total of the fines add up to $2,500 or are four months past due, this will turn into a felony in the state of Florida.

How We Can Help

Have you found your circumstances have changed, and you’re having difficulty keeping up with child support payments? It may be time to hire legal counsel to help assist you in your case. Contact Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa at (305) 853-9161 today. Our team of experts will help ensure that your child is taken care of and that your own rights are never violated.