A government agency has policies in place to protect families, but is it working? The Florida Department of Revenue (FDR) Child Support Program exists to assist both custodial and noncustodial parents with child support payments. In a recent news story, some parents are saying that the department is not doing enough to help them get needed payments.
The FDR reports that it has collected more than $1 billion in current and past-due child support, with a collection rate of over 80 percent, but that it is still tracking down $1.2 billion more in unpaid support payments. Some parents reported frustration with their co-parents dodging payments. The unpaid child support was because noncustodial parents simply would not work, or would even file fraudulent tax returns in order to avoid having them garnished by the state agency.
Even though critics argue that the FDR is not doing enough to collect child support payments, there are sanctions in place for parents who do not pay up. A person with unpaid child support can lose his or her drivers license, have wages garnished, lose a business license or even go to jail. Once a child support case is ordered in court, it can never be discharged, so parents are encouraged to get a support order established.
Child support payments provide the financial funding needed for children to thrive. After divorce, if one parent is ordered to pay child support, that order is binding and the funds can be taken from insurance settlements, disability or lottery winnings. The negative aspects of child support can be avoided if both parents agree early on to a child support order and stick to it. In Florida, a family law attorney can provide legal help for individuals looking to establish or modify a support order.
Source: clickorlando.com, "Florida Child Support Enforcement Program 'has no teeth,' parents say", Adrianna Iwasinski, July 18, 2017