In What Ways Can I Receive Child Support?

Social Security card and paperwork

After concluding a divorce or child custody case, you may have been awarded a child support in the final order. In many final orders, it will determine the manner in which your former partner must make these payments, and how you will receive them, however some leave it up to the parties to decide. Therefore, it is important to discuss with your Orlando Child Support Attorney the methods in which you may receive your child support payments.

If your final judgment does not determine a specific manner that you may receive payments, your former partner may pay you directly. Direct payment may come in the form of a check, cash, money order, or direct deposit. Although, direct payment does allow you the possibility of receiving your payments quicker, there are some drawbacks. With direct payment there is no third party requiring the payments from your partner, therefore, when issues arise you will have to address them yourself, which may cause significant conflict and can hinder your coparenting relationship. Further, you must keep accurate records of each payment received. This is important in the off chance that you must return to court over a child support issue. You will need to present to the court the amount of each payment, and the date you received each support payment. However, if you are receiving direct payments and your partner defaults you may request the court to impose on your partner to pay through a third party.

The third party that handles child support payments in Florida is the State Disbursement Unit; a branch of the Florida Department of Revenue. This unit is organized to process child support payments from obligors and send them to the obligee. The payor parent can send in their support to the Disbursement Unit in a number of ways: electronically through credit card or bank accounts; by mail through cash, check, cashier’s check, or money order; or through income deduction from the parent’s employer also known as wage garnishment.

The State Disbursement Unit then will provide you with your child support through direct deposit onto a smiOne Visa Prepaid Card or into your checking or savings account. This prepaid card is similar to a debit card, as it allows you to make purchases and cash withdrawals. If you fail to opt into a direct deposit with your bank account information, you will be automatically enrolled in the smiOne Visa Prepaid Card program. Florida law prohibits the mailing of checks to the obligee parent and requires all parents be paid through direct deposit in one of the two ways mentioned above.

Another positive to this third party handling the exchange of your child support is that they are required to maintain proper records of each payment and have stringent rules for each party. For instance, both parties must keep the Unit informed of any changes in name, address, and employment. Therefore, if the parent does default it is easier to provide evidence of the payments made or missed, as well as their last known address and employment.

Whether you are being paid directly from your former partner, or you are involved with the State Disbursement Unit, you should be receiving timely and accurate child support payments. If you have questions regarding your payments, wish to change the method of receiving your payments, or your partner has defaulted, contact an Orlando Child Support Attorney today.

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.

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