How does Florida Handle Deadbeat Dads?

Deadbeat dads are not just absentee dads. They are fathers that do not carry out their responsibility to support their kids after divorce. Basically, they refuse to be there when their kids need them, financially or emotionally.

Under Florida law, it’s not a pretty thing to be considered a deadbeat dad. This is because of the strong consequences attached to being considered as such. A deadbeat dad basically refuses to follow an order of the court.

When it concerns child support, the state of Florida takes the financial obligations of either spouse very serious. And the courts will do everything within their power to ensure that the kids are not abandoned by their father.

Child support in Florida

Florida family courts hold parents to their responsibility to provide financial support to their kids. And they will do everything they need to do to ensure that you comply.

Generally, the state of Florida has an idea of how much it should take to raise a child. The courts would often arrive at a calculation of how much you should pay as child support by considering your income and that of your spouse as well as the number of kids you have.

Once the amount of child support is determined and the order of the court is made, you are obligated to pay. While it is possible for you to fall behind on payments from month to month, it is very difficult for you to be absolved of responsibility to pay. You will be made to pay eventually, except in very dire circumstances.

The length the courts will go in order to get the child support

The courts are very big on ensuring that you comply with child support orders. If you are a deadbeat dad, the court could take any one or more of the following actions against you:

  • They could garnish your wages
  • Hold you in contempt of court
  • Seek your bank accounts
  • Sell assets from your estate like your car
  • Suspend your drivers’ license and even your passport

The consequences don’t end there. If you still refuse to comply, the court could even put you in jail for up to a year. As we said earlier, the courts are pretty big on ensuring that parents fulfil their financial obligations to their kids.

Child support and visitation are unrelated

Now, it is important to point out that paying child support doesn’t entitle you to spend time with your kids. Child support and visitation are totally unrelated. So, no matter how consistent you are with child support payments, it is only the parenting plans decided by the court that determine visitation.

The reverse is also the case. Failing to pay child support will not see your visitation rights revoked. The court cannot take away your right to spend time with your kids simply on the basis of not paying child support

While the two are not connected, you shouldn’t allow yourself to be called a deadbeat dad. Fathers who have an opportunity to be in their kids’ lives are genuinely happier. Let yourself be happy. Be there for your kids.