As a divorced parent you can definitely count on three things: taxes, death, and child support. Support equals food, medicine, clothing, lights, and lots of other things the children need. For the parent that has the children most of the overnights these things are not optional – even if money is short. The other parent simply needs to come up with cash – and sometimes lots of it. Lately, the laws of each state have been strengthened to endure you definitely pay your child support.
Child Support Enforcement in the Last Decade
In the not-too-distant past years many parents became child support deadbeats and got away with it. Many people were told by friends, family, or relatives about someone else that successfully got away without paying support. In many cases, child support was ordered by a court and the parent avoided their support obligation by moving away from Florida. Some, maybe, were sent to jail. Others ended up paying. But a large number of non-paying parents never paid a nickel for child support.
Federal Program for Child Support Collection
In 1975, the US Government created laws affecting the child support picture. Our congressional representatives created a partnership between the Federal governments and State governments that made it easier to collect child support. The Social Security Act, Part D, Title IV was created to fund state programs involved in the collection of child support. The program is administered by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, part of the Dept. of Health and Human Services.
The most far reaching parts of the Federal program was the creation of child support enforcement agencies in each state. They are called Title IV-D agencies, named after the federal statute created by congress in 1975. Every state in the country has a Title IV-D agency but the specific state agency that takes on this responsibility has a different name in each state. The Florida Department of Revenue became the designated child support agency In Florida. To accomplish the goal of child support collection, the Florida Dept. of Revenue opened child support enforcement branches in each Florida county. Each branch was charged with collecting child support.
Child Support Enforcement – Florida Dept of Revenue
The Child Support Enforcement Division of the Florida Dept. of Revenue opens a support case when there is one of several triggering events. The most common event is responsible for most of the support cases: when a single or separated parent files an application for state Medicaid benefits for a minor child. The specific state benefits applied for vary. The benefits could be food stamps, free medicine, subsidized housing, or other misc. state benefits. The first time a parrent applies for aid the Florida agency they are dealing with has them sign a form authorizing the state to initiate child support proceedings and seek a support order. There is an actual public policy behind this scheme. It is designed to eliminate or minimize taxpayer support for children and to place child support responsibility n the mother and father of the child. After a mother or father applies for Florida State benefits, it may be a short matter of time before the Florida Department of Revenue starts up a child support lawsuit against the potential payer of child support..
Every state in the country has a Title IV-D agency that collects, and enforces child support. The federal law that directs the state child support agencies also authorizes nationwide coordination of child support efforts. The bottom line: an order for child support in Florida will be enforce by Michigan, Texas, New Jersey, and any other state where the non-custodial parent lives. The name of the child support agency may be different in every state but the purpose is the same: to collect child support for the custodial parent.
How States Enforce Child Support
Child support enforcement may be severe and harsh on a parent who never pays their support. “The Long Arm of the Law” is old term and seems to directly apply to child support enforcement. Parents who get behind on child support can suffer a variety of legal sanctions such as: suspension of their driver license, suspension of their trade and professional licenses, ordered sale of personal assets, and possibly a stay in prison. It is not uncommon for a seriously delinquent payer of child support is sent to jail by the courts.
The child support enforcement system is efficient, wide reaching, and inevitable. All states have an efficient, quick method for coordinating efforts and the parent who tries to move across the country no longer can avoid child support obligations. But like many laws, the web of child support rules, laws, and harsh penalties ultimately benefit children and in general – society. In this particular case the people who benefit are certainly deserving: they are the children living in single parent households. Taxes and death are not longer the only thing in life you can absolutely count on. Now, parents in every state of the US can count on paying child support to their children.