Florida and other states grapple with the problem of delinquent child support. Collecting child support helps custodial parents and helps the states by reducing the need for public assistance for parents who depend upon the timely receipt of the court-ordered payments.
In many Florida divorce cases where the couple has children, the parent who is awarded physical custody will be the beneficiary of a child support order to help them provide financially for the child. While some non-custodial parents cannot pay due to their own economic hardships, others just refuse to pay altogether. In some cases, custodial parents may have the option of seeking their child support from the non-custodial parent's other assets, including Social Security.
Many parents in Florida struggle to receive the child support payments they are due. Research on the reasons parents may not pay child support, and how demographics affect child support payments, turns up some interesting finds and trends. For many parents, getting an award of child support is only half the story. They then enter a seemingly endless process of trying to actually get the funds they are due, and many parents end up never getting paid at all.
Divorced Florida parents need to be cognizant of when child support ends so they aren't surprised when payments stop or extend beyond the child's eighteenth birthday. In most instances, child support ends either when the minor child graduates from high school or turns 18 if they graduate prior to reaching the age of majority. There are other events that might cause child support to terminate early.
While child care does cover basic items, it may also be used to go above and beyond those needs. For instance, it may be possible for child support to cover uninsured medical expenses or to pay for a child's insurance policy. Child support may also cover educational needs such as paying for a tutor or for tuition if the child is in private school.
Single parents in Florida may rely on child support from a former spouse and can take action when he or she has stopped paying. A parent should first contact the local child support office, and a hearing can be filed if a parent does not start paying. A party breaks a court order when able to pay but choosing not to, and a hearing officer can send a recommended punishment to a judge when deciding that one party willingly failed to pay child support.
Under Florida law, a court can order either parent to pay child support to the other parent or both parents to pay child support to a third party having custody of the child. In most instances, payments are made until the child turns 18 years old. Courts may also require parents to provide health insurance for the child.
Florida courts use state law to estimate how much child support parents should pay, but occasionally parents claim that they cannot afford to contribute financially to their children's well-being. In the past, proving parents' dishonesty about their ability to pay child support was sometimes difficult. Facebook and other social media sites are now helping to expose the people who are trying to get out of paying, a fact that might interest parents in Orange who suspect their exes of similar dishonesty.
After a divorce, many experts believe it is important for parents to keep in contact with their children. It is also important to continue financially supporting one's children in Florida or in any other state. However, a recently released report has revealed that these two things are not unrelated from one another. The study showed a correlation between a parent's contact with children and the parent's likelihood of making court-ordered child support payments.