Kathy D. Sheive Attorney at Law

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How did I get in arrears?

While there are some parents who refuse to pay their child support, there are also those who find themselves in arrears and facing legal action unknowingly. One way you can fall behind is if your child support obligation is taken out of your checks automatically and you change jobs.

It's important to let the child support enforcement agency know that you have changed employers and that you give them all of the contact details so that the automatic withdrawals can begin again. However, it will not be an immediate process.

Many parents are not aware that it can take weeks for the child support office to update their records and send the information to the new employer and for the employer to begin taking out the support. If you don't keep up with your payments in the meantime, you could end up hundreds of dollars in arrears. It's important to keep an eye on your paystubs so that you know when the support begins coming out of your checks.

It's important to stay on top of any arrears you have accumulated and make payments to catch up as quickly as possible because the courts take this matter seriously. You can face legal penalties up to and including fines, jail time and losing your driver's license.

If you have any questions about how to make payments directly to the child support enforcement agency in the interim or if you have problems with the employer taking the support out, a family law attorney can help you understand your options and what to do to keep yourself from falling behind on your payments.

Source: Florida Department of Revenue, "Enforcement of Child Support Orders," accessed Oct. 01, 2015

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