The financial circumstances of a custodial parent may change after divorce. They may have trouble paying their rent or mortgage and their utilities. It may be difficult for them to make their monthly income stretch so they are able to buy food. Child support may ease these difficulties.
The family court judge ordered the noncustodial parent to pay monthly child support so their children may continue to have their needs met. Some parents may faithfully pay their child support, knowing that it does to cover their children's needs. Other parents may decide they aren't going to pay the child support, even though they are required to. Still other parents may run into circumstances that make it difficult for them to keep up with the monthly payments.
What may happen to a parent who doesn't pay child support
Regardless of the reasons a noncustodial parent has not made monthly child support payments, Florida law may make it difficult for them in their personal and work lives.
They may face several penalties:
- High fines
- Criminal charges (felony or misdemeanor)
- Time in prison
- Driver's license suspension
- Any professional licenses may be withheld
- Bank accounts unemployment compensation, income tax refund or lottery winnings intercepted
If a parent cannot afford to pay child support
The noncustodial parent should not stop paying their child support, even if they are unable to afford the monthly payments. They may be able to have the existing child support order modified so they are able to make those payments.
Even noncustodial parents who may be able to have the child support order modified may face hefty legal consequences if they stop payments. These may include criminal charges and time behind bars. Failure to pay child support means they are not following the court order.