What Can Happen If I Don’t Pay My Child Support Obligation?
When parents separate, the financial responsibility for supporting the child is still left up to both parents. In Florida, child support is mandatory in order to ensure that the child gets as much financial support as permitted under the Florida Child Support Guidelines. The child support amount is generally determined by the income of the parents and their timesharing schedule.
When a Florida Court orders you to pay child support, you must pay the child support as directed in the Order. You can face legal consequences for failing to timely pay your child support obligation. If a court finds that you willfully failed to pay the court ordered child support obligation, meaning that you had the financial means to pay and simply chose not to pay, you could face jail time. In some cases, you could be in jail until you pay a purge amount. A purge for past due child support is an amount set by a Court, that must be paid by you to either get out of jail or avoid going to jail.
Other consequences for failing to pay your court ordered child support obligation are as follows:
- Your Driver’s License could be suspended
- Your Wages could be garnished
- Interest could start accruing on child support arrears
- A money Judgment could be entered against you
- You could be ordered to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees and costs
You may be thinking, “What happens if I lose my job and I can’t afford to pay child support?” The short answer is that you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney may recommend that you file a Supplemental Petition for a Downward Modification of Child Support. We will go into more detail about the filing a Supplemental Petition in our next blog.
Contact a Tampa Child Support Attorney
If you have questions regarding your child support obligation, contact Tampa divorce lawyer at The Law Office of Patricia Palma, P.A. at 813-258-3211 to make an appointment to discuss your case in detail.