My Ex-Spouse Won’t Pay Child Support: Now What?
A divorce judgment was issued and the custodial parent and non-custodial parent are finally living separate lives. The judge ordered that one parent have primary custody of the shared child and that the ex-spouse and co-parent is required to pay a monthly child support order to the custodial parent. Unfortunately, the other parent either refuses to pay entirely, or puts unfair conditions on rendering payment. This situation happens far too often, but is not tolerated in the State of Florida. As the custodial parent, you have legal options to pursue child support payments and don’t have to agree to arbitrary conditions set by the non-custodial parent, or accept unreliable or partial child support payments.
For example, one parent might tell the owed parent that child support funds can only be used to buy the child clothes. This is simply not true. There are no conditions on utilization of child support payments as long as the owed parent retains primary custody. For example, the custodial parent could use child support funds to pay for family use vehicle repairs, because they use the vehicle to transport the child. No matter the circumstances, as the custodial parent you are entitled to receive the child support payment from the non-custodial parent. Even if the other parent is unemployed, this does not discharge their obligation to pay. If you need help obtaining child support arrears, contact Attorney William Wallshein.
If your co-parent or ex-spouse from a previous relationship owes child support and you have tried other avenues to pursue action, you can file a motion for contempt against the defendant in court. You should also contact the Florida Department of Revenue for assistance. Doing so will trigger a hearing to be scheduled with a presiding judge. The judge will determine what support payments are in arrears, and then either order a money judgment against the defendant to be paid to you, or order that the defendant’s wages are garnished until the arrears or child support debt is paid off.
If the delinquent parent continues to refuse to pay, doesn’t agree to the parenting agreement, doesn’t appear for court, or has no income to garnish, and continues to go unpaid, the court can order the defendant to be incarcerated for no more than 5 months in jail for contempt. Even if the defendant is indigent, child support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Only the owed parent can waive their entitlement to payments or decide not pursue action against the delinquent parent. But this comes at the owed parent’s expense and is not in the best interest of the child.
Arrears is a fancy term for what is back-owed or been sent to collections/charged back. According to Florida law, there is no statute of limitations for collecting back-owed child support. This means that even if your child is now an adult, your delinquent ex-spouse is still required to pay back child support to you. In addition, the Florida Department of Revenue is deputized to continue to aggressively pursue delinquent parents in order to enforce a child support order. Even if the other parent moves out of state, the owed parent can still file a motion for contempt against the defendant in the Florida courts.
Call Attorney Wallshein Today
If your ex-wife or husband is refusing to pay child support, pays less than what he or she is court-ordered or has placed arbitrary stipulations on you regarding usage of funds, you do not have to tolerate it. If your ex-spouse is deliberately avoiding payments or has absconded, West Palm Beach child support & wage garnishment attorney Wallshein will work with you to file a motion in the courts. Your ex-spouse has a moral and ethical obligation to pay child support payments. He or she is just as responsible for your shared children as you are, and is compelled to pay what the court has ordered for the benefit of the child. If you are located in Palm Beach County and need help pursuing delinquent child support payments, call Attorney Wallshein today to schedule a consultation.