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What can I do if my ex won’t pay child support?

It’s up to both parents to provide financially for their children. Unfortunately, many divorces parents in Florida are faced with non-payment of child support, which can greatly hamper a child’s development and well-being. So, what can be done if your ex refuses to pay child support? U.S. New & World Report offers the following advice if you’re faced with a former spouse who is unwilling or unable to remit child support payments.

Don’t Withhold Visitation

While it may be tempting to withhold visitation rights from your ex, this is actually a bad idea. Court orders for support and visitation must be kept separately and you can actually get in trouble for violating a court order whether your ex pays support or not. Additionally, your ex may be more inclined to make support payments if he or she is heavily involved in your child’s life (and it’s healthier for a child to have a good relationship with both parents when at all possible).

Accept a Portion of the Money

If your ex can’t pay the full amount specified in the court order, it’s best to accept a portion of the money. This is especially true for single parents who find it difficult to cover child-rearing expenses on their own. If non-payment is due to economic hardship, your ex can actually petition the court to modify the support amount.

Know When to Get Court Involved

Ultimately you may need to get the court involved if nonpayment continues for an extended period of time. After six month of non-payment you can bring the matter up at court, which will take additional steps to enforce payment and seek out what was previously owed. If your ex is already subject to wage garnishment, a sheriff may be enlisted to enforce payment.

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