How can a parent enforce child support payments?

The state of Florida has a number of ways to enforce the payment of child support from a parent. If the parent doesn't pay the required amount, the state could garnish the parent's wages, seize any bank accounts, suspend the parent's drivers license or even put the parent in jail. However, things could become more difficult if the parent in question lives in another state. There are jurisdictional issues which must be worked out before implementing any discipline or collections.

Every state in the country has adopted a version of the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. It provides options for parents who are trying to collect child support from an out-of-state parent. Under the act, custodial parents can ask their resident state to forward the child support order to the state where the other parent currently lives. Alternatively, the custodial parent can travel to the other state and file a request for a child support order.

Additionally, the custodial parent could forward a child support order to the other parent's employer and ask that employer to garnish wages. It should also be noted that it is currently a federal felony for a parent to refuse to pay required child support to a custodial parent in another state. Sometimes, simply notifying the other parent of that fact is enough to encourage them to make payment.

While it is possible to collect from a parent in another state, it may be complicated and time-consuming. An easier path may be to work out a new child support agreement between the two parties. If that is not possible, then a custodial parent may have no choice but to pursue legal action. A family law attorney can be helpful in this regard.

Source: Findlaw, "Florida Family Laws", December 19, 2014

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