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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Frequently Asked Questions for Child Support Enforcement Division

 

QHow can the Child Support Program help me and my children?
A
They can:
 
  • Locate missing parents for child support purposes
  • Establish paternity when needed
  • Establish medical and financial support orders
  • Enforce support orders
  • Modify support orders
QWhat are the address, telephone number and hours of operation?
AChild Support Program
Overtown Transit Village, South Tower 
601 NW 1ST COURT, 12th FLOOR
MIAMI, FLORIDA 33136
(786) 530-2600
Child Support Program - Office of Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle (miamisao.com)
 
The hours of operation are 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
QWhat is a "parent who owes support"?
A parent who owes support is the parent who does not live with the child and is ordered to provide support. According to Florida law, every child under the age of 18 has the right to the support of both parents, including the parent who owes support.
QCan the Child Support Program help locate the parent who owes support?
A

Yes. They must know where to find the parent responsible for support. If this is not known, the Child Support Program will search for him or her through a variety of local, state, and federal location resources. It is very important for you to provide any information about the parent who owes support, so that he or she can be located. Otherwise, your case cannot move forward.

QWhat is the application process and how much does it cost?
A

There is no fee for this service.

If you are a parent receiving public assistance, you are automatically referred to the Child Support Program and you must cooperate with efforts to obtain support.Failure to respond to requests for information, or missing appointments and court hearings may result in sanctions being imposed, causing your benefits to be reduced or canceled.

If you do not receive public assistance, you need to complete an application for services.

To apply for the services of the Child Support Program, please do so online at Florida Dept. of Revenue - Apply For Child Support Services (floridarevenue.com)

QHow is a child support order obtained?
A
If the location of the parent who owes support is not known, the Child Support Program will first need to find him or her before your case can be processed.

Once he or she has been located, the Child Support Program will send you correspondence to obtain preliminary information needed to begin processing your case.
Once the Child Support Program has obtained all the necessary information from you, your case will be referred to the Legal Department. The parent who owes support must then be served (notified of the action against him/her). The service process includes providing the parent who owes support with copies of the documents you have signed. Once he or she is served, a court date can be scheduled.
QHow long does it take to obtain an order?
A
The time it takes to obtain a child support order varies depending on the facts in your case, how much information you can provide, and other factors. These factors, which include successfully locating and then serving the parent who owes support with the case documents, actions taken by the opposing attorney, requests for paternity tests, the need for certified copies of existing support orders, etc., may delay the results. You can help speed the process by cooperating fully.
QHow are support orders enforced?
A
The Enforcement Unit works hard to ensure you receive child support payments on a regular basis. Some methods used are:
 
  • Income Deductions - Payments are deducted from the non-custodial parent's paycheck. 
  • IRS Intercepts - Tax refunds can be intercepted to collect delinquent child support. 
  • Freezing Bank Accounts – A computer search is done for non-custodial parents who have bank accounts with participating financial institutions. If a match is found, the bank account may be frozen.
  • Lottery Intercepts - Winnings of $600 or more from the Florida Lottery can be intercepted to pay delinquent child support. 
  • Liens - In certain cases, courts can place liens on real estate and personal property for non-payment of child support. 
  • Consumer Reporting Agencies - Information about delinquent child support is given to credit reporting agencies, possibly affecting the non-custodial parent's credit rating.
  • Suspension of Licenses - Driver's license, vehicle registration, and professional licenses can be suspended or denied for not complying with a court order for child support. 
  • Referral for Contempt - Court action can be taken if the non-custodial parent does not pay the child support as ordered by the court. He/she could face potential penalties, such as jail time.
  • Passport Denial – NCPs can be denied U.S. passports if their certified past due amount exceeds $2,500.
QHow are the support payments processed?
A
All child support payments must be sent to the State of Florida Disbursement Unit, PO Box 8500, Tallahassee, Florida, 32314-8500. Official court records are created of payments and disbursements to allow accurate enforcement and monitoring of your child support case. For this reason, you must not take payments directly from the parent who owes support.

If you do not receive public assistance, a check will normally be mailed from Tallahassee within two working days of receipt of the payment. If you do receive public assistance, support payments may be kept by the State of Florida as reimbursement for the public assistance you are receiving from the state.
QHow is paternity (fatherhood) established?
A
When a child is born to parents who are not married, fatherhood must be determined before any other action can take place. The alleged father may voluntarily admit that he is the father of the child(ren). In cases where he does not admit paternity, a court hearing and/or paternity test is scheduled. When a paternity test is necessary, the child's mother, the alleged father and the child are tested.
QHow much child support will be ordered?
A
The amount ordered is based on guidelines set by Florida law which take into account the children's needs and the income of both parents. Childcare costs, health insurance costs, and other children are also considered.
QI already have a child support order, but I am having problems with the payments.   Can the Child Support Program help me?
A
Yes. If you already have an order for child support and/or medical insurance, the full force of the law will be used to enforce that order so that you can receive regular payments.
QCan I get help if I don't have a child support order?
A
Yes. If you don't have a court order, legal proceedings will be used to establish child support and medical support obligations so that you can begin to receive payments from the parent who owes support.
QCan the Child Support Program help me with visitation, custody or alimony matters?
A
The Child Support Program does not enforce visitation or custody rights. Nor does it enforce alimony obligations, unless there is an ongoing child support enforcement matter which is being handled by the Child Support Program.
QHow can I modify the amount of child support?
A
Once the support order is established, it may be modified if there is a significant change in your financial situation or that of the parent who owes support. If you request a modification, the amount will be recalculated based upon guidelines set by Florida law. Normally, a modification petition is filed with the court only if the guidelines show the amount should change by at least 15% or $50 monthly, whichever is greater. If this is an interstate case (involving another state), there may be additional restrictions. Once the process is started, we are required to pursue it to completion even if it means the parent who owes support will pay less.
QWhat happens if the parent who owes support lives in another state?
A
When the parent due support and parent who owes support s live in different states, the Child Support Program works with child support offices in other states. When this type of case is referred to another state, that state's child support enforcement office and court system must be allowed to process the case within their applicable time frame.

The United State and the State of Florida have also entered into international agreements with various foreign countries for the establishment and enforcement of child support obligations.

The State of Florida has also entered into international agreements with various foreign countries for the establishment and enforcement of child support obligations.
QHow can I find out the status of my case?
A
You can check on the status of your case by registering for eServices at https://childsupport.floridarevenue.com
You may also contact our Call Center at (305) 530-2600
QWho do I contact if I am a person with a disability who has been noticed, and needs assistance, to participate in a court hearing?
A
Please contact ADA Coordinator, at:
Voice Mail: (305) 349-7175
TDD: (305) 349-7174
Fax No:. (305) 349-7355
Email:. ADA@jud11.flcourts.org

 

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