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A large amount of Florida child support remains uncollected

The Florida Department of Revenue (FDOR) is tasked with collecting child support payments from parents who are court-ordered to make them and dispersing these payments to parents who are charged with using this income to support their children. Most child support is court ordered. However, simply because a judge has ordered an individual to pay child support does not mean that the money owed is always properly collected.

According to a report recently compiled by the FDOR, one-third of all child support money ordered by Florida courts remained uncollected during the 2013 fiscal year. Practically speaking, this means that parents in Florida were owed nearly $5 million in uncollected child support dollars last year alone. Nationwide, $14 billion in outstanding child support payments remain to be collected, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Critics of current FDOR policy argue that the agency does not crack down hard enough on parents who fail to pay child support amounts ordered by the courts. However, it is challenging for the FDOR to effectively enforce child support laws when some parents simply dodge the penalties they incur. For example, if a parent has his or her drivers’ license taken away for failure to pay, that parent may simply choose to drive without a license.

If you are owed child support that your child’s other parent refuses to pay, it is important that you retain the services of an experienced family law attorney. Unfortunately, the system does not currently work effectively in cracking down on delinquent child support payments on its own. However, an attorney may be able to help you work the system in such a way that your child’s other parent either pays up or is held sufficiently accountable for failure to do so.

Source: The Tampa Tribune, “One-third of child support is uncollected Census Bureau: More than $14 billion owed to custodial parents,” Gary Pinnell, Dec. 20, 2013