If you and your spouse have children and are going through a divorce, child custody and child support must be established, whether it be through a court order or a mediator. I offer well over a decade of experience in Florida family law. I have been through difficult legal issues in my own family, so I understand what it's like. I will anticipate issues and protect you from making costly mistakes.

As the founder and principal of Zachary A. VanDyke, P.A., I am a highly experienced child custody attorney who can help you with all aspects of Florida child custody, including shared or sole child custody and back support issues.

What Happens When A Parent Doesn't Pay Child Support?

It is up to the custodial parent (the parent living with child) and noncustodial parent (the parent not living with child) to responsibly communicate and cooperate to ensure that child support payments are made on time. Despite legal orders, there are cases when noncustodial parents can't or refuse to make their child support payments. So, what happens next?

Prior to taking any sort of legal action, you must contact the nearest child support office. However, if the child support office can't successfully obtain the payments, it is able to file a Motion for Contempt. The case is then heard by a hearing officer. If the hearing officer determines that a parent is purposefully not making child support payments, they will send a recommendation to a judge for an official signature. Once a judge signs the document, the parent will be found guilty of contempt of court.

The following are possible penalties that the noncustodial parent may face if found guilty:

  • Misdemeanor or felony charges
  • Prison sentence
  • Severe fines
  • Suspension of driver's license or vehicle registration
  • Professional licenses withheld
  • Interception of bank accounts, income tax refund, unemployment compensation and/or lottery winnings

It's important to understand that the noncustodial parent is capable of fighting these charges with a defense if it's done between the hearing officer drafting a recommendation and the judge signing the recommendation. There are times when employment, remarriage or changes in finances require both parties to make adjustments to their original child support order, which can occur if they immediately alert a child support office to change the order. When one or both parents are serving in the military, it would do them well to consult with an attorney who handles divorces for armed service personnel.

Talk To A Child Support Lawyer

I offer a low cost consultation so that you can get your child support divorce matter questions answered risk-free. Call 850-215-6445 or send me an email via the website contact form, and I will get in touch with you. Located in Panama City, I serve clients in the surrounding area as well as military clients. Se habla español.