Can Your Driver’s License Be Suspended for Not Paying Child Support?
If you were ordered to pay child support but failed to meet the legal obligation to provide payments to the obligee, you may face serious penalties. In the state of Florida, possible penalties for not paying child support include wage garnishment, fines, driver’s license suspension, and even jail time.
If you are behind in child support payments, you should consult with an Orlando child support lawyer to discuss whether you can modify the existing support order to avoid penalties for non-payment of child support.
Enforcing a child support order when payments are not made
Section 61.13, Florida Statutes, provides that a parent may be ordered to pay child support to the other parent. The obligation to make child support payments usually ends on the child’s 18th birthday, though there may be exceptions.
Florida courts issue child support orders based on a number of factors, including but not limited to each parent’s income and earning capacity, the child’s needs, and others.
When there is court-ordered child support, the obligor can face penalties for failure to make child support payments in a timely manner. When the obligor fails to meet their obligation, the obligee can file a Motion for Civil Contempt/Enforcement to enforce the child support order.
What are the penalties for failure to pay child support in Florida?
When a Motion for Civil Contempt/Enforcement is filed after the obligor fails to pay child support, the court may enforce the order through the following steps:
- Withholding and garnishing the obligor’s wages;
- Seizing the obligor’s assets, including funds in bank accounts, to pay child support;
- Garnishing the parent’s military retirement or Social Security retirement benefits;
- Placing liens on personal property, real estate, and automobiles; and
- Seizing the overdue amount from lottery or gambling wins.
In addition to the above-mentioned enforcement actions, the obligor who fails to make child support payments may face penalties that may include:
- Jail time
- Suspension of the driver’s license and other driving privileges
- Delinquent notices to credit bureaus
- Passport denial
- Suspension of business or professional licenses
The administrative, civil, and criminal penalties that a non-paying parent may face depend on the specific circumstances, the overdue amount, and other factors.
How do you know that your driver’s license is suspended?
If you fall behind on paying court-mandated child support, you will receive a written notice from the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) warning you that your driver’s license and registration may be suspended if you do not pay child support.
Usually, the notice informs a non-paying parent that their driver’s license will be suspended in 20 days unless they do the following:
- Prove that child support payments were actually made;
- Pay the unpaid amount of child support owed;
- Enter into a written agreement to repay your past-due amount; or
- File a motion to modify the existing child support order.
Your driver’s license will be suspended if you do not take action within 20 days of receiving the notice. Once your license is suspended for failure to pay child support, you can get your license reinstated when you pay the unpaid amount as well as any additional fees.
Do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with our Orlando child support lawyers if you have fallen behind on child support. Our attorneys at Greater Orlando Family Law will protect your legal rights and help you avoid penalties for making paying child support payments. Call at 407-377-6399 to schedule a free case review.