Jacksonville FL Child Support Enforcement Lawyer
Department of Revenue Actions (Child Support Enforcement Actions)
Child support involves court-ordered payments that are typically made by the divorced parent who does not have primary custody of the children. The funds transferred from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent or caregiver is designed to provide support and stability to the child or children. When a parent refuses to make these court-ordered payments, or has fallen behind on periodic payments, the State of Florida may get involved. There are a number of enforcement tools and orders that are designed to collect child support from parents.
The experienced Jacksonville child support lawyers at Farah & Farah can help you whether you are a petitioner who needs more assistance than the Department of Revenue has provided or whether you are a respondent being served with a petition. Child custody and child support are among the most contentious issues in Florida divorce proceedings. Please contact us at (904) 263-4610 to find out how we can help.
Notification from the State of Florida
It is important that you seek out legal guidance the moment you receive a letter from the State of Florida, Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement. The failure to respond promptly will likely result in a number of enforcement actions, which could directly affect your finances, credit and reputation. The state has the power to get the money you allegedly owe and they have many tools at their disposal.
Types of Child Support Enforcement Actions in Florida
The Department of Revenue’s Child Support Enforcement will work with your employer, your bank, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a number of other organizations to enforce orders. Some of the enforcement actions they may take against you include:
- Income withholding: The majority of child support collected by the Department of Revenue comes from income withholding notices. This is when the DOR shaves off money directly from your paycheck. Employers are required to comply with income withholding notices. So, they cannot prevent the DOR from taking a portion of your salary.
- Intercepts: In addition to taking money from your paycheck, the DOR may intercept money from your IRS tax refund, lottery winnings, workers’ compensation benefits, unemployment benefits, insurance settlements and liquidated unclaimed property.
- Suspensions: If you are asked to pay support and you refuse, they may suspend your driver’s license, your passport, your professional licenses and even your hunting or fishing licenses.
- Judicial intervention: Your case may be referred to the court system. Potential penalties that could result include a civil arrest order, jail time of up to 179 days, required payment for past-due support. You may even face misdemeanor or felony criminal charges.
- Liens: You may lose the right to your vehicle, boat, mobile home or property.
- Levy on bank accounts: The Department of Revenue even has the ability to freeze and seize financial accounts nationwide.
Additional Consequences of Enforcement Actions
Depending on how much you owe and what types of actions are taken, you could face a number of significant penalties and consequences. If your employer is contacted, it could affect your career opportunities. You could end up losing your income, your home, vehicles or other valuable assets. Above all, you could be looking at jail time. The State of Florida and the DOR are serious when it comes to enforcing child support agreements.
The best way to avoid Department of Revenue actions is to make the child support payments as agreed. If you have any personal or financial hardship that prevents you from doing so or if there are other extenuating circumstances, it is important that you seek the counsel of an experienced family law attorney to examine your options.
If you are a parent who is not getting the child support you need, it is crucial that you obtain legal counsel as well. The skilled Florida family law lawyers at Farah & Farah know what it takes to protect parents’ and children’s rights. These are issues that can have a long-lasting impact on your family’s financial future. Please contact us at (904) 263-4610 for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.