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Plantation Family Law Blog

How driver's license suspension can affect child support

Under Florida law, people who are convicted of drunk driving or accumulate too many points on their driving records will see their driver's license suspended. This makes sense given that these types of offenses are driving-related and pose a very real risk to public safety.

It may surprise people to learn, however, that this rather harsh punishment isn't just reserved for those guilty of otherwise questionable conduct behind the wheel. Indeed, driver license suspension is a possible punishment for everything from drug offenses and truancy to graffiti and even the failure to pay child support.

Why divorcing spouses may want to consider a parenting coordinator

Once the reality sets in that your marriage is ending, don't be surprised if you experience a range of seemingly conflicting emotions. On the one hand, you may feel a sense of great relief about finally ending a bad marriage and even a bit of excitement about the road ahead. On the other hand, you may feel anger about everything that transpired and some trepidation about the unknown.

Indeed, while some of this trepidation will relate to things like where you are going to live, how much support you will either pay or receive, or how marital assets are going to be divided, the majority of it will center on your children.

What happens when a parent falls behind on child support? - III

In a series of ongoing posts, we've been discussing how the Florida Department of Revenue's Child Support Program can take a variety of enforcement actions to collect past due payments. In particular, we've discussed everything from wage garnishment to driver's license suspension.

In today's post, we'll conclude this discussion by examining some of the more noteworthy -- and what some might classify as draconian -- enforcement actions that can be deployed by the agency and which frequently facilitate compliance by otherwise delinquent parents.

How do child support payments actually work?

As we've discussed in previous posts, the laws governing the payment and receipt of child support here in Florida aren’t always entirely clear to the layperson. This is entirely understandable, however, given the manner in which these laws are written and the complexity of the subject matter.

It's important to acknowledge, however, that sometimes this confusion covers more than the laws, extending to the actual payment and receipt of child support. In other words, the nuts and bolts of making and receiving child support payments may not always be entirely clear to those new to the process.

Florida mother appeals ex-husband's 'un-adoption' of son

It is not uncommon for people getting married into blended families to adopt their spouse’s biological children. Besides clarifying who has parental rights over the kids, these adoptions can be an important bonding ritual for both the child and his or her new mother or father.

Sadly, second marriages do not always work out. When a biological parent gets divorced from the child’s adoptive parent, where does that leave the adoptive relationship? Is the adoptive parent responsible for child support, or is it possible to “un-adopt” a child?

Same-sex couples sue after FL refuses to list names on birth certificates

History was made here in Florida back in 2014 when judges at both the state and federal level ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. History was made again just a year later when state officials granted legal recognition to same-sex marriages.

While you might think that the achievement of marriage equality here in the Sunshine State would effectively end the need for any additional legal battles related to this important issue, this hasn't proven to be the case.

Florida military mother emerges victorious in custody battle

The unfortunate reality is that many of the brave men and women who serve in our nation's armed forces don't come home to ticker tape parades or other warm welcomes after completing their service overseas. Indeed, some come home to find themselves facing unexpected legal challenges, particularly in the area of family law.

By way of illustration, consider the experience of a Florida woman who was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for nearly four years, and found herself at the epicenter of a complex child custody battle upon her return.

What happens when a parent falls behind on child support? - II

Of the multiple payment obligations that may arise out of a divorce, none are perhaps more important than child support. That's because recipient parents rely on these funds to help cover basic living expenses for their child, including food, clothing and shelter.

In light of this reality, it should really come as no surprise to parents ordered to pay child support to learn that the state -- or, more precisely, the Florida Department of Revenue's Child Support Program -- has a host of enforcement actions that it will readily deploy should a parent fail to make timely payments and/or pay the full amount owed.

Florida woman who kidnapped daughter apprehended

When a relationship ends, there are certain matters that need to be addressed and resolved. If the union—regardless of whether the couple was ever married—produces children, matters such as child custody and support need to be worked through.

While the state of Florida has the goal of getting parents of children to work together to reach an agreement, this does not always happen. In some situations, even after an agreement is reached one or both of the parents will find that they are unhappy with it. While there are legal avenues that under some circumstances could result in a modification of the parenting plan, there are times when a parent will simply take the child and leave.

How does child custody factor into property division?

Property division is an important aspect of divorce, and arguably one of the areas parties are most concerned about from the standpoint of advocacy. This is understandable, because ending a marriage can leave parties financially vulnerable, and it is important to ensure one receives a fair property award to help one transition into post-divorce living.

Here in Florida, the approach to property division is characterized by equitable division of marital property, unlike some states which use an equal division approach. In the equitable division approach, judges are given discretion to divide assets according to what they deem to be fair to each party. Various factors are taken into account, such as the duration of the marriage, the economic circumstances of each party and the contributions each party made to acquiring, enhancing, and producing income during the marriage.

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