Florida Child Support Arrears

by Anonymous from Florida

My husband currently owes arrears on his child support order for two children from a previous marriage.

The eldest child turned 18 in 2008 and the other is getting ready to turn 18 this year in May 2011.

He has been paying $500 a month since the order has been in place and that has not changed even though the older child is 18.

My question is what can be done about the arrears owed? Can we petition to pay the children directly? And if he has to still pay the full amount of arrears what can we do to decrease the amount of his income deduction?

He is has been still paying current child support and as I stated before his oldest child has been 18 for 3 years.

Answer to Florida Child Support Question

Dear Anonymous,

Your first step is to find out whether the Department of Revenue's (DOR) accounting is correct. If he has been paying child support for his eldest child beyond the age of majority, is that amount being applied to the arrears?

He can also go to the Department of Revenue website, and complete the Request for Review of Child Support Order. To find that form go to the Child Support Section, and then look for Forms and Publications.

Child support orders can be reviewed every three years, and more often if there is a substantial change in circumstances.

There is no way to reduce the amount owed on the arrears, besides getting it paid off.
As far as paying the child support directly to the children, it is doubtful unless their mother agrees to it.

The theory is that the children somehow were housed and fed without the child support, and the arrears pay her back for taking care of the children without it.

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 Florida Child Support Arrears

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Confused About Child Support Arrears
by: Debra from West Palm Beach

I have been divorced since 2003 and my ex paid child support until my daughter turned 18 five years ago. She has since graduated FSU. I received permanent alimony since 2003 with the check coming from the department of revenue. I happened to finally sign up for direct deposit last month, called the Palm Beach courthouse to make sure everything was processed.

I had several questions regarding an upward modification of alimony & was asking questions regarding filing fees and possible time frame involved. This clerk was extremely knowledgeable and provided all the info I needed. As the conversation came to a close she said that it appears my ex owes me "quite a bit of money in arrears".

I am not sure how or why this I would be as he always pays the alimony and paid the child support while never missing a payment since 2003. I was stunned and confused, but all she could say was I needed to go there and ask for a printout of my balance. What could this be and if I had not called the clerks office and had this extended conversation with the clerk I would never know about this?

--I'm not sure what this could be, but it would not surprise me if there is some kind of accounting error. I think it is good practice to periodically ask for a printout of your child support amounts. As far as I know, the clerks can provide this free of charge. --Staff

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