Back Child Support in Florida

by Nicole from Largo, Florida, Pinellas County

Can I take the non custodial parent to court for owing back child support in Florida that is supposed to be paid legally through the state?

Answer to Florida Child Support Question

Dear Nicole,

The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) is the agency designated to collect and enforce child support.

Their phone number is 1-800-622-5437. My suggestion is to follow the prompts on the phone menu until you speak to a live person.

Explain to the representative that you want DOR to enforce your child support payments.

Or you can go online and request child support enforcement services.

If you are receiving public assistance there is no need to apply, as they are already aware of your child support case.

Information about child support and child support enforcement can be found on the DOR's website. The website for the Department of Revenue states the following:

Every child has the right to financial and medical support from both parents. Our goal is to assure families receive the child support they need and deserve.

The services we provide include locating parents, establishing paternity, and establishing, enforcing and modifying support orders.

Our services are available if a parent lives in another state or country. We do not establish or enforce visitation or custody.

Any parent or custodian of a dependent child who is not receiving public assistance may apply for Child Support Services. Any parent or caretaker who is owed child support arrears may also apply for services.

You must submit a completed application for child support services. Only one application is required, even when there are multiple noncustodial parents or alleged fathers.

In the circumstance of multiple noncustodial parents or alleged fathers, a parent information form must be completed for each additional parent or alleged father.

Please read the application instructions prior to
completing the Application for Child Support Services and the Additional Parent Information Form(s). The DOR Application for Child Support states they will:

  • Find the other parent

  • Get paternity established

  • Get an order for child support or medical support

  • Send you payments we collect

  • Review and change the amount of support ordered

  • Review available information we have to be sure the support amount is based on the income of both parents

  • Use the state’s guidelines to calculate the amount of support to be paid

  • Tell you if you are not cooperating with us.

  • We will give you a chance to help us before we close your case.

Legal Advice and Florida Court Forms

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Comments for Back Child Support in Florida

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Back Child Support For My Dad
by: Mikel from Tallahassee, Florida, Leon County

I am graduating from high school this year and attending college in the fall. My dad has had custody of me and my brother since we were 3. My mom was ordered to pay child support for us.

Sometimes she did, but mostly she didn't. My dad has tried many times to get her to pay, once though the judge told her not to pay for a while because she was unemployed, she forgot to tell him she quit so it wouldn't be taken out of her check.

My dad filed with the state, they took her license and that judge gave it back and she still didn't pay. She has a LARGE amount in arrearages. My dad won't do anything else, said there is no use.

Plus my dad and my mom (step mom) take very good care of us without it, but I can't figure out why all these dad's are taken to court when they are deadbeat dads and made to do something, and yet my mom doesn't have to worry about financially taking care of her kids.

My question is since I am 18, can I file to have the arrearages paid to me directly. She spent my college fund, and I am thinking this is the only way I will ever get anything back.

--At some point her arrears will be reduced to a civil judgment. It will be in favor of your father, however, not you.

My suggestion is that you pursue enforcement of that judgment for your father. He is fed up and frustrated with the whole process, and understandably so.

A civil judgment can be enforced by various methods, including a levy on her bank account, seizure of her property, and a lien on her real estate.

Your father, of course, will need to cooperate with you and sign things and maybe even accompany you to court, but from what you've said, it sounds like he would be happy to do so. --Staff

Back Child Support Retroactive
by: Jim from Florida

The mother of my child was incarcerated when we signed our permanent orders back in 1998. The only mention of child support was this: "The parties therefore agree that no child support will be awarded to the Father until the Mother is released."

She was released 5 or so years ago and has had very little contact with my son. I have not asked for any help but now that I am being laid off, I'm going to need all the help I can get.

My son is now 16 so I realize I can ask for child support but my question is, can I also get back support even though I have not gone through the courts up until this point to get it? Also, I live in Florida and she lives in Colorado, which state would I go through for help? Thanks!

--Since you and the child reside in Florida, Florida is your and your son's state of residence, and the state where you need to petition for child support. According to Florida statutes you are only entitled to two years retroactive child support. --Staff

Back Child Support Over 18
by: Andrew from Tampa, Florida, Hillsborough County

Court Ordered Child Support. Child is now Over 18. My father just paid a large sum of back child support. I am 27 years old now.

Is there a way for me to sue the state or my mother to make sure that the money comes to me and not her to spend on drugs?

--You can try. Somehow you survived beyond the age of 18 without the benefit of your father's child support. I suspect that your mother supported you. You may not have been provided for as well as you would have liked. The life of a single parent is not easy. Many single parents struggle to provide for themselves and their children.

Women continue to earn about 20% less than men; regardless of education. If your mother has a drug problem try to love her anyway, and hope for the day that she gets past it. It is my understanding that back child support is paid to reimburse the parent for expenditures already made in raising the child. --Staff

Older Children & Back Child Support
by: Susan from Florida

My ex husband didn't pay support for years. I finally, with the help of Florida child support enforcement, I started getting it.

I now have two children over age 18, in college, and one still at home 15 years old. Does my ex still have to pay me the back support or does the child support for the older two stop? One child is 24 and the other 21?

--Your ex continues to owe the back child support. It is my understanding that he must continue to pay the monthly court ordered amount beyond your children's age of majority.

He is supposed to continue to pay until the debt is paid off in full. He may be able to modify the monthly amount if it is an undue hardship, but the full amount of arrears must be paid in full.

Also, if he successfully modifies the monthly amount downwards, the current and ongoing child support for the fifteen year old will receive priority. At some point, once all the children reach the age of majority, and if he stops paying child support, a judgment in your favor may be awarded.

That point seems to be after a year or more. Once there is a judgment, interest accrues, but child support enforcement does not appear to work on the case any longer at all. --Staff

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