Florida’s Enforcement of Child Support – Motion for Contempt

Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Attorney
Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A.

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Florida enforcement of child support can be brought through a Motion for Contempt if the responsible parent, the obligor, fails to pay child support per the order of child support entered by the Court. When a child support order is entered, it is done so based on the reported income of each parent and if an issue of nonpayment arises, then there is a presumption by the Court that the obligor maintains the ability to pay and it is up to that parent to prove otherwise.

If the obligor informs the court that s/he is unemployed or underemployed involuntarily, then the Judge may order that party to do the following:

1. Look for employment
2. File reports with the court, or the Florida Department of Revenue if the obligor is in receipt of Title IV services, that explain the party’s efforts in the search for employment.
3. Provide notification to the Court once employment is found.
4. Take part in programs that provide job training, placement, work experience or other similar programs that may be available to the obligor (chapters 445 and 446 of the Florida Statutes).

If the obligor voluntarily and unilaterally decides not to comply with the Court’s order, then s/he may be held in contempt. Contempt matters can range in punishment, but can include time in jail, with a purge or release amount totaling the owed child support amount.

Contact the attorneys of Wood, Atter & Wolf, P.A. if you have any questions about your rights and options related to Family Law matters such as this.