Florida often treats deadbeat parents very harshly. If you can pay child support to your ex and fail to do so, you could end up in jail.

If your situation has changed and the support agreement is no longer manageable, it is in your best interest to seek a child support modification as quickly as possible.

What can happen if I miss child support payments?

If you start to miss child support payments, your ex-spouse can file a complaint with the Florida Department of Revenue child support office. Continued failure to comply will result in a court hearing for contempt. If a judge finds you guilty, he or she can impose one or more of the following consequences:

  • Fines
  • Seizure of tax returns and bank accounts
  • Property liens
  • Jail time

If you are in contempt of court for missing child support payments, you do have a short period in which you can file an appeal.

How is court-ordered child support enforced?

The FDOR could first ask you to sign a written agreement that outlines monthly repayment details of overdue child support. Depending on how much in arrears you are, the FDOR may take steps to garnish your wages. They can take further actions to enforce your compliance, such as suspending your driver’s license, vehicle registration or passport until you begin making payments.

How can I modify a child support order?

If you have experienced a significant change in your income or the current order has not changed or been reviewed for three years, you can file for a modification with the FDOR. You will need to complete documents and show support for your request. It generally takes about six months to reach a determination, and if the FDOR believes that the child support payment should be adjusted, they will move to change the order.