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How To Collect Florida Child Support From An Out-Of-State Parent


You expect that your child’s other parent will comply with a child support order pursuant to divorce or paternity proceedings, so it can be frustrating to think that you may need to take legal action. To learn that the non-paying parent has left Florida to avoid child support obligations is downright infuriating. Regardless of whether minutes or hours separate you by distance, you probably have concerns about dealing with the laws of another state. Fortunately, the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) provides you with powerful tools for enforcing an order for child support even when the payor lives out of state.

Still, the process for enforcing child support for a nonresident of Florida can be complex. Errors and omissions are common, and your efforts could be all for naught for failure to follow the detailed rules. You can trust a Dade City child support attorney for assistance, and read on for some basics about the process. 

Understand the Logistics 

Initially, you should note that you first need a valid child support order before you can enforce it across state borders. If you meet this requirement, you must then turn to the practical considerations of locating that person. Fortunately, all US states have enacted versions of UIFSA, including provisions that make it mandatory for out-of-state agencies to help you find the uncooperative parent. This reciprocity enables you to access: 

  • Details regarding your ex’s employment, including a new job or filing for unemployment;
  • Contact information held by the DMV of a state that issued a driver’s license;
  • Information reported to credit agencies, such as a mortgage for a new home, auto loans, and other lines of credit;
  • New hookups for electric, water, cable, and other utilities;
  • Recently opened accounts for cell phone and other telecommunications services. 

Enforcement Under UIFSA 

Once you have information to locate your child’s other parent, you can take steps to enforce the child support order. UIFSA empowers Florida courts to exercise personal jurisdiction over the nonpaying parent. By filing a petition and meeting the procedural requirements, a judge can compel: 

  • Wage Garnishment: Once you have information on employment, you can obtain a court order to have the person’s employer take amounts of out wages.
  • Liens and Attachment: Credit bureau details can point you in the direction of the nonpaying parent’s assets, including real estate, bank accounts, and income tax refunds. Agencies in the other state can lien or attach these items pursuant to the order of a Florida court.
  • Criminal Charges: Intentional refusal to pay child support can even lead to criminal contempt, punishable by fines and related penalties. 

Contact a Florida Child Support Attorney for Help with the Process 

It is good to know that Florida law includes options for collecting child support from an out-of-state parent, but you can see the challenges with enforcement. For more information on the process, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane to set up a consultation. Individuals in Pasco County and the surrounding region can call 352-567-0055 or go online to reach our firm.



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