Child support is often a contentious issue in a divorce or paternity case. In a perfect world, both parents want the best for the children, even if there is animosity between the parents. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world, and when payment is not forthcoming, enforcement of support often becomes necessary.
According to a 2009 U.S. Census report, fewer than half of all obligees (custodial parents) receive all the support they were owed. When the deadbeat mom or dad is in state, the Florida Department of Revenue is charged with enforcing collection through actions ranging from suspending drivers’ licenses to placing liens on vehicles and garnishing wages.
What happens, though, if the parent who is responsible for paying support and who is in arrears lives out of state? The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) allows Florida to apply long-arm jurisdiction — meaning that the parent who is dodging support responsibility can run, but cannot hide. UIFSA helps in collecting from out-of-state parents in several ways, including:
- Through the National Directory of New Hires, employers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia must report any new hire. In turn, each state compares information against records of parents who owe child support. States also report information regarding Unemployment Insurance payments.
- The federal Office of the Inspector General pursues deadbeat parents who purposely move to another state to avoid paying child support as well as those who fail to pay for more than one year or owe more than $5,000 in support. In addition to enforcement of support owed, penalties may include fines of up to $250,000 and prison sentences of up to two years.
Every child deserves as much financial stability as possible. Parents who need help enforcing child support from the other parent in Florida may wish to turn to a Florida attorney with experience in child support matters.
Attorney Shane Herbert also contributed to this post.