Non-payment of child support consequences


When children are part of any separation, most parents are aware that based on the child custody arrangement determined by the family court, one parent, typically the non-custodial parent, will be mandated to pay the custodial parent child support to help with the upbringing to the child.

However, there are times when despite the non-custodial parent's best intentions, they may be unable to meet their monthly child support obligation. Nevertheless, one's failure to pay child support may result in an arrest. In fact, Florida residents may find it interesting to learn that recently during an operation called Family Matters, which was an effort of ensure compliance with child support orders, Broward Sheriff's officers went across the county to locate those who were delinquent in their child support payments.

Pairs of deputies visited parents who are delinquent in their child support. As part of Operation Family Matters, deputies planned on serving over 50 restraining orders and nearly 60 arrest warrants. This operation was similar to a four-week long statewide operation conducted last October, which was also aimed at locating parents who were delinquent in their child support payment obligations.

However, those arrested were not charged criminally. Instead, the intent was to give them a civil order that mandates them to pay their child support payments. If, however, they continue to fail to pay their child support obligations, then they may potentially face jail time for not obeying the court order.

The consequences of not paying child support range from deputies knocking on one's door to compel compliance with an existing child support court order to more serious consequences such as time behind bars. Parents who are concerned about their child support obligations should consider contacting an experienced family law attorney. Whether the child support amount is too high due to the parent's low income, or because of a significant change in circumstances that prevents them from making timely child support payments, the obligor should understand their legal options.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "Broward Sheriff's Office conducts child-support roundup," Erika Pesantes, Feb. 6, 2014

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