There are many reasons why people can fall behind on child support payments: job loss, a serious illness or a large, unexpected expense. To avoid making a bad situation worse, it's important to obtain prompt legal advice.
Depending on why you are unable to make child support payments. it may be possible to modify your support order. If you do this proactively, you may be able to avoid falling behind. It's important to know that your spouse cannot cut off visits just because you are behind on child support payments. Being involved in your child's life is the most important support you can offer.
To avoid falling behind (or falling further behind) on payments, find out if you can obtain a modification of child support through the family law court. It's important to do this through the court rather than by making an informal agreement with your ex. If your ex changes her mind and demands full payment at a later time, you would owe the full amount ordered by the court, including any past amounts you have not paid. Child support arrearages cannot be discharged by filing bankruptcy.
In Florida, the consequences of failure to follow a child support order can be severe. If the court finds the violation is willful, it can find you in contempt and put you in jail. For this reason, it's important to discuss your case with a lawyer if you are subject to an enforcement action. You may have a defense.
If your spouse denies visitation because you are behind on child support payments, you can file an enforcement action against your spouse for denial of visitation. To protect your relationship with your children, it is important to work with an attorney who not only understands the law but who is passionate about the importance of fathers. At The Nix Law, P.A., in Orlando, we are passionate about protecting the rights of fathers.