New Wife & Child Support Obligations

by Donna from West Palm Beach, Florida, Palm Beach County


My husband has primary custody of his son who is turning 17 in September.


The child moved back in with his mother against his father's wishes and the mother is taking my husband back to court for child support.

She has never paid child support to my husband by agreement in the 6 years my husband has had the child.

My husband has been unemployed for over a year and receives no unemployment compensation. I pay all the bills on my salary and work in a convenience store.

If she gets a judge to grant her child support do I have to pay it and can a lean be put on my house or vehicle that is in both our names? All concerned parties are residents of Florida.

Answer to Florida Child Support Question

Dear Donna,

You are not responsible for your husband's child support obligation.

Judges are not supposed to order child support unless the payee has the ability to pay.

However, sometimes a judge will impute income if the judge believes that the person that should pay child support is willfully refusing to work to avoid paying child support.

As far as a lien being placed on your home or vehicle - if your house is your homestead, it is protected from a child support lien by the Florida Constitution. Art. X, section 4 of the Florida Constitution sets forth the homestead exemption. It states:

(a) There shall be exempt from forced sale under process of any court, and no judgment, decree or execution shall be a lien thereon, except for the payment of taxes and assessments thereon, obligations contracted for the purchase, improvement or repair thereof, or obligations contracted for house, field or other labor performed on the realty, the following property owned by a natural person:

(1) a homestead, if located outside a municipality, to the extent of 160 acres of contiguous land and improvements thereon, which shall not be reduced without the owner's consent by reason of subsequent inclusion in a municipality; or if located within a municipality, to the extent of one-half acre of contiguous land, upon which the exemption shall be limited to the residence of the owner or the owner's family.


The probability of a a lien being placed on a vehicle owned jointly by you and your husband, is unlikely, at least for the present. There are many steps that must occur before a lien could be placed on any property.

Keep in mind, that a Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet; and Financial Affidavit must be filed by both parties before any child support can be awarded.

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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