If your ex-spouse is skipping child support payments and leaving you in need, Florida courts offer legal recourse to help recover what is owed. Depending on the reason for non-payment, there are a range of penalties that may be leveled, including fines, jail time and more.

FindLaw explains that, if a parent has lost a job or has experienced other financial difficulties, he or she can seek a modification of the support order to reduce the payment amount. Any back child support owed you will not be affected, however, only future payments. If non-payment of support is willful, the parent may be judged to be in contempt of court, a serious offense that could result in a jail sentence. In addition, failure to pay may result in liens on the parent’s property, which will negatively affect his or her credit report. Penalties include measures such as:

  • Fines and jail time
  • Seizure of income tax refund
  • Seizure of bank accounts
  • Suspension of driver’s license or vehicle registration

If you are not receiving child support, you should contact your local agency for the Department of Revenue. If the department is unsuccessful in getting payment, they may seek a hearing before officers who then recommend to the court how to rule on child support cases.

Sometimes, a parent moves out of state to avoid making payments, but they cannot move beyond the reach of the law. All states have adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, a federal law that bans states from changing a child support order unless both parents and the child no longer live in the state where the order originated.

This article contains information about child support payments and how to enforce orders. It is general in nature and should not replace the counsel of an attorney.