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Florida Family Law

Penalties for Failing to Pay Child Support in Florida

Penalties for Failing to Pay Child Support in Florida


By Benjamin Burnstine | Family Law Attorney
Posted on June 5, 2018

The Florida child support program was designed to help children get the financial support they need from one or both parents. Unfortunately, many parents refuse to pay their court-ordered child support, which can result in severe consequences, including jail time.

Refusal to Pay

If child support has been ordered, and a noncustodial parent isn’t making child support payments, the custodial parent may file a motion for civil contempt against them.  To show that a violation occured, the custodial parent must provide proof that the noncustodial parent hasn’t been making payments, although they are capable of doing so. 

Penalties in Florida

If a judge does indeed determine that a noncustodial parent has violated their child support order, the court can hold them in contempt and see that they are subjected to various court actions and penalties including:

  • Withhold income
  • Bank account seizure
  • Withhold benefits
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Credit reporting
  • Prize winnings seizure
  • Withhold tax refunds
  • Asset seizure
  • Fee reimbursement for the custodial parent
  • Incarceration

Florida’s public policy is that both parents are responsible for providing financial support for their children, and strict laws exist to enforce this policy.

The court can have the noncustodial parent who is refusing to pay child support incarcerated for up to five months and 29 days, without a jury trial.

If you think you may be subject to penalties for failure to pay your child support obligation or if you are a parent looking to enforce payment of child support that is owed to you, contact The Roberts Family Law Firm, P.A., today.  Our experienced attorneys are familiar with Florida’s child support guidelines and will aggressively represent your interests.  For more information, call us today at 407-426-6999.


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