Child support payments are unlike other types of family legal issues in that they are not resolved with a onetime agreement or transaction. Orders for child support can be in place for years or decades, making it very possible for changes and disputes to arise over time and upset a current arrangement.
However, whether a child support plan has been in place for a week or a decade, you need to understand the importance of sticking to the court-approved terms and fulfilling your parental obligations. Failure to do this can and should be addressed quickly; otherwise your child could end up paying the price.
If you are a parent who is collecting child support, it is up to you to make sure that your child is in fact supported by the financial contributions of another parent consistently. Failure to do this can lead to courtroom disputes and even legal penalties in Florida if it can be argued that, despite collecting child support, you are not using the child support payments appropriately.
If you are a parent who is paying support, your main priority should be to make payments in full and on time. As we mentioned above, circumstances change over time so there may be instances where you find you cannot make a payment or need to pay it late. While this may not be a serious issue if it happens once or very infrequently, delinquency is something that is not taken lightly by Florida courts.
If you have concerns regarding misused or unpaid child support payments, there are legal remedies available. This could include modification, either temporary or permanent, or actions to enforce a court order.
As attorneys, we encourage parents to make sure they understand their rights and their responsibilities when issues involving child support arise. By being informed and taking action sooner, rather than later, parents can protect themselves and their children.