Homestead Exemptions and Collection of Child Support Payments in Florida
When you are entitled to receive child support payments, as ordered by a valid final judgment, and the obligated spouse has failed to make these payments, you will likely begin to frantically search for ways to enforce the child support award, and retain the past due child support obligations. However, when an obligated parent is bankrupt or has no assets for you to retain possession of to enforce the obligation it is common to fear that you will never see the money you are entitled to. When attempting to enforce any child support order contact an Orlando Child Support Attorney to discuss your options of enforcement and ways to receive your child support payments moving forward.
In the State of Florida, collecting past due child support, or child support arrears is, unfortunately to common. However, due to its frequency, the court has established a large number of ways for individuals to collect the funds they are entitled to under the law. For instance, the court may punish the parent until payment is made by revoking their driver’s license, car registration, attach wage garnishment onto their paychecks, deny passports, withhold tax refunds, and gain possession of bank and retirement accounts. However, when a parent does not have a job or any monetary assets, finding ways to obtain payment may be difficult. Therefore, courts will then look to real property of the parent to fulfill their obligations.
However, one factor of Florida law that does provide some difficulty for those attempting to enforce a child support action is the protection of a homestead in Florida. Under Florida law, primary residential properties can receive homestead exemptions, protecting the owner from any liens or creditors levying on the property resulting in the sale or foreclosure of the home. However, Florida statute does provide minor exceptions to this general rule. The most common creditors that are available to levy on the home are those who provided lending for the home or those who were contracted to perform home improvements on the property. However, one of the final few exceptions is also an individual who is enforcing a child support action against a non paying parent. The Florida Courts of Appeal have established a caveat to the protection of the general rule for obligated parents, stating that courts may impose an equitable lien on a homestead property of an obligated parent, if the parent has avoided their obligations and used the homestead protection to do so. Therefore, if the obligated parent in your specific case has no assets or funds other than a home, it may be important to look into this exception in order to obtain relief. However, it will be necessary to prove that fraudulent conduct, on the part of the obligated parent was involved in relation to the failure to pay and the homestead property. Therefore, it will be crucial to your case to hire and experienced Orlando Child Support Attorney to assist you in this matter.
Child support is imperative to the financial benefit and well-being of your child. Therefore, when an obligated parent fails to make this payment, you as a parent can become concerned as to the methods of caring for your child as well as collecting these past payments from your spouse. Alleviate some of your worry by contacting an experienced Orlando Child Support Attorney today to discuss how you may obtain interest and monetary value to ensure you receive the funds you are entitled to.
Speaking to an attorney at our Orlando office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 407-512-0887 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.