Child support obligations cannot be avoided, and many who owed money on their child support payments did not receive stimulus payments from the government during the coronavirus pandemic.
Anyone who is named in child support should realize that this is one of the most important and long-lasting financial obligations that they will ever have, and the government will do whatever is necessary to make sure proper payments are made. People have lost professional licenses and even ended up in jail over child support payments that are delinquent for extended periods of time.
Pandemic stimulus checks were intercepted for past due to child support payments
National news reported on various reasons why these stimulus checks may be intercepted or garnished before certain individuals could claim them. One of the most common reasons that certain people did not receive the money was because of past-due child support. While many states do not take formal action to suspend someone’s driver’s license or garnish wages to collect back child support until several thousand dollars are owed, the stimulus check was a simple way for governments to collect money that was supposed to be paid into the child support system. As long as the person was entered in the Treasury Offset Program as having past due payments, the money was taken. This was done despite the fact that people who are behind on other obligations such as taxes and student loans still received the payment without issue.
Despite these points, collections efforts are imperfect in some areas. This is due to a significant backlog where the administrative process is weeks or months behind.
How child support payments are determined in Florida
The government uses a formula based on a person’s income to determine their exact payment amount. There are a number of calculators online that can help give an estimate of payments, although the specific amount will always be unknown until after the support case is resolved. This amount cannot be modified or changed without a hearing in front of a family law judge and a new legally binding order.
The state law provides an income table that is adjusted based on factors such as the number of children, earnings, and custody time. The parent that is providing the support is normally allowed to deduct certain expenses such as taxes, health insurance, and daycare. However, other general expenses that are not specifically allowed by law cannot be deducted. In other words, parents cannot make deductions for things like travel and household costs related to child care and shared custody. In some cases, a custodial parent can petition the court for additional support if the child has special needs related to healthcare, education, and other essentials.
Contact a Tampa area lawyer about child support payments
There are local attorneys who routinely deal with the family law courts and judges. If you need assistance, get help from a lawyer at The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet