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Understanding Florida's deadbeat dad laws

No matter where you live, no one wants to be a deadbeat dad (or mom). Last October, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General named a Florida resident as the most deadbeat dad in the United States for owing $4.2 million in unpaid child support

To circumvent many of the issues that come with unpaid child support, Florida has come up with so-called "deadbeat dad" laws. The goal of these laws is to make sure children have adequate support. Regardless of the visitation arrangement, some parents still need to pay child support to ensure kids have a good upbringing. It is paramount to understand the consequences of not paying child support because it could come back to bite you in the end. 

The length the courts will go to to get you to pay

Florida judges are big on holding parents accountable and making sure they pay child support on time. If you fail to make a payment, the courts can take various actions to get the money. They may seek out your bank accounts and hold you in contempt of court. It is also possible for a judge to file an order to garnish your wages, so the payment is deducted from your paycheck every month. A judge could even suspend your passport or driver's license. 

The relationship between child support and visitation

If you are not happy with the visitation schedule, then you should bear in mind that staying up-to-date on your child support payments will not change that. These two matters do not affect one another, and you will have to abide by the visitation schedule set forth by the court initially. Conversely, if you fail to make payments, then it will not affect the visitation you currently have. A court cannot punish you by taking away your visitation rights. It has other ways of punishing people who fall behind on child support payments. 

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