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What if my child turns 18 and my ex-spouse still owes child support?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2021 | Child Support |

Are you in the situation where your former spouse or the parent of your son or daughter failed to make child support payments they owed that were due before your child reached their 18th birthday? Even if the support obligation ended when your child became an adult, your right to the past-due payments is still valid.

Most child support orders end when the child reaches the age of majority (or usually until they finish high school). Florida statute provides, “The termination of the current child support obligation does not otherwise terminate the obligation to pay any arrearage, retroactive support, delinquency, or costs owed by the obligor.

You have a variety of methods to try to collect the money owed to you. The state courts in Florida have vast power to enforce child support orders, reflecting state policy that all parents have the legal duty to support their children until they are adults (or longer for disabled children), no matter the circumstances.

Examples of potential collection methods include:

  • Seek to have the money withheld from the obligor parent’s wages.
  • Ask the court for an order for civil contempt for disobeying the court’s order to pay child support. This can trigger sanctions like jail time, fines or reimbursement of the recipient parent’s legal costs.
  • Ask the Florida Department of Revenue as part of its Child Support Program to initiate interception of the obligor’s tax refunds or any future stimulus payments through the Treasury Offset Program.
  • Request that the court issue an injunction to freeze the payor parent’s assets.
  • If the obligor parent passes away, file a claim against their estate.
  • And other remedies

An experienced family lawyer can provide guidance on your legal options for enforcement of the obligation.

 

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The Law Office of Forrest & Forrest, PLLC represents individuals in Fort Lauderdale in high-asset divorce matters. Daniel Forrest is board-certified family lawyer and mediator serving the South Florida area.