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Florida Father Almost Loses Driver’s License in Child Support Error


Child support is ordered by the court to ensure parents take care of their minor children through monthly payments. The court-ordered amount is based on income, parenting time and number of children. Child support is a financial obligation that must be paid on time. When a parent dodges this responsibility, they can face serious penalties.

Unfortunately, some parents have faced penalties even when they have met their child support obligation. This was the case for a Florida teacher who almost lost his driver’s license due to an error with his child support garnishments. The Tampa Bay father had made hundreds of payments for his son, a 12-year-old with Down syndrome, but they were not recorded correctly.

The trouble started after the man started teaching at the Lake Placid Montessori School in 2017.  He assumed everything was fine, as $113 was taken out of his paychecks every week for child support. However,  in 2018, he began receiving notices threatening to suspend his driver’s license because he was not paying child support. He went to Child Support Enforcement to discuss his situation and they said that the school was not sending over the garnished wages.  By 2020, the man had owed $1,800 in back child support.

The school was asked about the mistake. They admitted that there was a clerical error involved. While the amounts were left outstanding, the issue has since been corrected. The school is taking the appropriate steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Soon after, the school sent the man a check for the missing money. He used it to quickly pay the past due amount for his son. He is relieved that the situation has been resolved and he no longer has to worry about incurring penalties for an error beyond his control.

Penalties for Failure to Pay Child Support

Not paying child support is a serious issue. A parent who is intentionally not paying child support can be found to be in contempt of court. This can result in jail time, but this is rare and often done only as a last resort.

The state will attempt other methods first. These include garnishing wages and freezing bank accounts. The state may also suspend the person’s driver license and any professional licenses (such as those by a doctor, nurse, engineer, CPA. etc.). The parent may also lose their passport so they cannot flee the country. The state will also find ways to intercept the money, such as through tax refunds, lottery winnings and other awards.

Seek Legal Help

Child support is an issue that can lead to penalties if not paid in a timely manner. It’s important to take care of this obligation so you don’t lose your driver’s license, spend time in jail or be forced to pay extra fees.

Florida has a formula in place, but it can be complicated. Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can help you with child support issues. Schedule a consultation by filling out the online form or calling 954-764-4330.




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