How Florida Collects Child Support

The Florida Department of Revenue operates an extensive network of departments involved in the collection and enforcement of Child Support. The child support enforcement functions of the state are not involved in all child support cases.  But in almost every case where child support is ordered, payments are processed through the state of Florida. To accomplish collection, distribution, and accounting of child support, Florida created an entity called the State Disbursement Unit. You will also hear the name: State Depository Unit. Lawyers, judges, and others in the know simply refer to it as the “SDU.”

Here is the process where a child support account is created:


  • Divorce or Child Support case ends up with a final order in a courthouse
  • Clerk of Court in the same courthouse takes the order and enters the child support provisions into their computer
  • Florida State Disbursement Unit, located in Tallahassee taps into the database for each county – clerk of court and uses the information previously entered about child support amounts, frequency of payment, back amounts owed, names of payer and payee, etc.
  • Florida State Disbursement Unit sets up an child support payment account for each case.  This account will be used to track child support for an individual case.
  • Payers of child support must comply with the court order and begin payment on the date specified.  Payments go to the SDU.
  • The SDU keeps an exact accounting of your payments.  All payments are deposited.  The state then cuts a check to the payee.  In practice, there is a several week delay in receiving the checks when a new SDU account is set up.
  • Both payers and payees can go to the county courthouse where the child support order was entered and request an account printout.  This account printout will show recent payments and the amount of any arrears.
  • You can also check payments through the following service, provided by the Florida Dept. of Revenue:

To check online, go to

You can also call the SDU VRU (Voice Response Unit) at: 1-877-769-0251


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