Child Support Arrearages

by Sidney from Miami, Florida, Miami-Dade County


My children's dad is severely in arrears for child support and over the years has told the court that he is unemployed.

Is the court or another government agency empowered to investigate his unemployment claim using his social security number?

If so, what should I do to initiate the action to be taken?

Answer to Florida Child Support Question

Dear Sydney,

Enforcing child support can be an extremely time consuming and frustrating process.

First, I have to assume from your question that the child support order is a Florida court order and that your ex lives in Florida.

The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) is the entity that is supposed to enforce child support.

Many Florida child support orders are written so that the non-custodial parent pays support payments into the Registry of the Court. And then payments are forwarded to the custodial parent or loaded onto a debit card issued for that purpose.

More recent Florida child support court orders are being written with an Income Deduction Order (IDO) in place. And, yes, the Department of Revenue absolutely has the access and power to find out whether your ex is working or collecting unemployment benefits.

The ways that the DOR can collect child support are:

  • Notify the parents when they miss payments

  • Suspend Florida driver licenses

  • Take IRS tax refunds

  • Take tax refunds to pay past due support

  • Take Florida Lottery winnings if over $600

  • Take support payments from unemployment and worker's compensation

  • Tell employers to take payments from paychecks

  • Place liens on the parent's car, boat, or other property

  • Report past due support to credit agencies

  • Place a hold and take money from bank accounts

  • Take the case to court because the parent did not do what the order says


For more information go to the Department of Revenue website. Or call the DOR 1-800-622-5437.

Their telephone menu states that you do not need to do anything to request child support enforcement, but you do. Go through the menu until you speak to a live person and explain your situation to them. Tell them that you want your child support enforced.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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Comments for Child Support Arrearages

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How Many Years Back Can I Ask For Back Child Support?
by: Anonymous

When I file for child support in the state of Florida can I ask for five years in arrearages?

--You can ask, but it is doubtful you will get it. Florida child support law provides for collection of arrears of up to 2 years. --Staff

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