When parents first obtain a divorce and child support orders are issued, it’s typical for the paying parent to have a poor understanding of the law, specifically as it relates to the failure to pay child support. A noncustodial parent will often fall behind on their child support payments without much thought about the repercussions until it’s too late.
Across the country, each state has aggressive methods for enforcing child support orders and Florida is no exception. While the balance thresholds vary from state-to-state, the failure to pay child support can lead to wage garnishments, bank levies, tax refund intercepts, the interception of lottery winnings, US passport denials, and license suspensions.
For the purposes of this article, we are going to discuss licenses suspensions for the failure to pay child support in Florida. If you need more information, we encourage you to contact our firm directly for further assistance.
What Does Florida Law Say?
Each state has laws on the books that suspend or revoke various licenses for the failure to pay child support, not just driver licenses. “Which licenses are affected by these laws?” Generally, they are driver licenses, hunting licenses, business licenses, occupational licenses, and professional licenses.
“Each state imposes its own triggering criteria, meaning the amount of arrears the obligor (the person who owes child support) must owe in order for a license to be suspended; or the amount of time the obligor must be delinquent before suspension occurs,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In Florida, the following licenses can be suspended or revoked for the failure to pay child support:
- Driver license
- Business license
- Professional license
- Vehicle registration
- Vessel registration
For license suspensions, the noncustodial parent has 30 days from the second notice to reach an agreement to pay their child support arrears. If a parent fails to comply with the second notice, the court may be petitioned to allow for the parent’s license suspension(s).
For vehicle and vessel registrations, the paying parent has 20 days to pay the child support arrears in full, or they must enter a written agreement to pay the arrears, or petition the court to contest the child support arrears.
If you owe child support and one or more licenses have been suspended, or if you want to prevent a license suspension, contact Schuttler, Greenberg & Mullins, LLC to meet with a Boynton Beach divorce lawyer who can help you find a practical solution.