This is the next post in my series on how “underemployment” impacts Melbourne, Florida child support cases. My last article discussed how to prove that a parent is “underemployed.” One can show that their counterpart is earning less than what they are capable of by obtaining pay records, bank statements, and other similar information. It is important to retain an attorney who is experienced in handling the discovery process, in order to obtain such evidence. In this article I will discuss the process for collecting on unpaid support. If you require assistance then contact my office to speak with a lawyer.
The first step in collecting any arrearages is to to file a Motion with the Court. The Motion will request that the non-paying parent be held in contempt for failing to meet their child support obligations. Along with the Motion, it will be necessary to file a list of all the missed payments and the total amount owed. The Court will schedule a hearing and determine whether the other side should be held in contempt and the appropriate penalties. It is important to understand that the Court’s goal is to ensure that the parent receiving support is actually paid. This means that, typically, a Judge will not incarcerate the offending parent, or impose stiff penalties, as a first step.
At the initial hearing the Court will ask the offending party for proof that they are not in arrears. Once it is established that the support, in fact, has not been paid then the Court will order a monthly payment to be made in addition to the existing child support payments. The Court will also typically order the payment of the receiving party’s legal fees as well as any interest on the arrearages. Depending on the circumstances, the offending party may be required to subject themselves to a wage garnishment. If the offending parent continues to miss their payments, and subsequent hearings are held, then the Court may consider more serious consequences. These consequences can include incarceration, the suspension of a driver’s license, and more. How the Court will rule in any given circumstances will always depend on the facts of the case.
If you are not receiving your court ordered child support then it is important that you speak with an attorney to assist you. Counsel can help you to resolve the issue sooner, rather than later. As a Melbourne family law lawyer I regularly handle such situations. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. My office also services clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.