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					Child Support

      Part 1 - Jurisdiction
Constitutional requirements

   Does asserting child support jurisdiction over
    a non-resident defendant meet International
    Shoe “minimum contacts”?
   Is the assertion of jurisdiction consistent with
    “traditional notions of fair play and substantial
General vs Specific Jurisdiction

   General: Are the defendant’s activities in the
    state “continuous and systematic”? If so,
    state may assert general jurisdiction
   Specific: Did the defendant “purposefully
    direct” his/her activities at the residents of the
    forum state and the injuries to those
    residents arose out of or relate to those
Parker v Alaska Dept of Revenue

   Single act of sexual intercourse in that forum
    state can provide that state with specific
    jurisdiction over non-resident defendant for
    determination of paternity and child support
   A person engaging in sexual intercourse
    should foresee the possibility that a child
    might be conceived and born, and that a
    support action might be filed
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

   Adopted by every state
   Replaced older statutes such as the Uniform
    Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act
   URESA was a “de novo” statute that allowed
    responding state to modify original order, not
    just enforce
   UIFSA is a “continuing exclusive jurisdiction”
    statute allowing enforcement, but not
    generally modification
Two types of UIFSA cases

   One State: Provides for “long-arm” personal
    jurisdiction over non-resident defendants if
    constitutional requirements are met (“one
    state” actions)
   Two State: Allows “two state” actions if
    personal jurisdiction cannot be obtained in
    forum state. Initiate where child resides, then
    “transmute” the action to the state where
    defendant resides
UIFSA basis for “one-state”
jurisdiction (Fl. Stat. § 88.2011)

   The individual is personally served with citation,
    summons, or notice within this state
   The individual submits to the jurisdiction of this state
    by consent, by entering a general appearance, or by
    filing a responsive document having the effect of
    waiving any contest to personal jurisdiction
   The individual resided with the child in this state
   The individual resided in this state and provided
    prenatal expenses or support for the child
UIFSA “one state” jurisdiction

   The child resides in this state as a result of the acts
    or directives of the individual (is this
   The individual engaged in sexual intercourse in this
    state and the child may have been conceived by that
    act of intercourse
   The individual asserted parentage in a tribunal or in
    a putative father registry maintained in this state by
    the appropriate agency, or
   There is any other basis consistent with the
    constitutions of this state and the United States for
    the exercise of personal jurisdiction
How interpreted?

   Basing UIFSA jurisdiction on the father's
    mere acquiescence to his child remaining in
    Florida violates the Due Process Clause of
    the Fourteenth Amendment. Wright v Lewis,
    849 So.2d. 379 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003)
Two-State Jurisdictional Issues

   State issuing child support order retains
    continuing exclusive jurisdiction over the
    order as long as either the obligee, the
    obligor, or the child resides in the issuing
   Parties who are individuals (not a state
    agency) may file written consents with the
    issuing court allowing a court of another state
    to modify the order and assume continuing
    exclusive jurisdiction
Two State Process – Initiating State

   An individual or support enforcement agency
    files an action to determine paternity or to
    establish, modify, or enforce a support order
   Court of initiating state forwards three copies
    of petition to responding state where the
    defendant resides
   Merely a ministerial act, no adjudication
    takes place in initiating state
Two State Process – Responding State

   Receives petition from initiating state and
    serves defendant by First Class Mail
   Conduct hearing and determine duty of
    support and amount payable in accordance
    with responding state’s law and support
    guidelines, enter order
   Except in cases of modification of existing
    order from initiating state, when law from
    initiating state is applied
Jurisdiction for Retroactive Support

   The 1998 enactment of Fla. Stat. 61.30(17)
    modified prior case law.
   The statute provides that "the court has
    discretion to award child support retroactive
    to the date when the parents did not reside
    together in the same household with the
    child, not to exceed a period of 24 months
    preceding the filing of the petition,
    regardless of whether that date precedes the
    filing of the petition."
Child Support

      Part 2 – Support
Purpose of child support?

   Meet child’s subsistence or minimal level
    –   This view has been universally rejected
   Support the child consistent with a standard
    of living based on the incomes of the parents
    –   Underlying assumption of all guideline models
Historical standard for child support

   Meet the needs of the child
   Within the parents’ ability to pay
   Many states and local courts had informal
    guidelines or “rules of thumb” that were not
    mandatory or presumptive
Modern standard: Guidelines

   Every state has a guideline
   There are several guideline types or models
   Support is presumptively set based on
   Deviation from guideline rare, must make
    written finding showing why guideline amount
    is “unjust or inequitable”
Why guidelines? The federal mandate

   Congress determined that overall support
    levels were too low and there was too much
    case to case variation based similar facts
   Congress issued mandates:
    –   First - that each state develop and implement a
        statewide guideline
    –   Second – that the statewide guideline be
        presumptive for both establishing and modifying
        support orders
Benefits of Guidelines

   Increase support levels so they more accurately
    reflect the true cost of raising children
   Make support orders more equitable by reducing
    differences between orders on similar facts
   Reduce the adversarial nature of support
    proceedings and encourage settlements due to
    greater predictability
   Ease the burden on the courts by streamlining the
    decision-making process
Guideline Models

   Income Shares
   Percentage of Income
   Melson (Delaware)
   Cassetty
Income Shares

   Most common guideline (FL and a majority of
    other states)
   Child should receive the same proportion of
    total parental income as he/she would have
    received if the family were intact (two parent
Income Shares Methodology

   Determine total combined incomes of both parents
   Use economic data to determine what percentage of
    total family income is spend on a child at the relevant
    total family income level
   Multiply that percentage by total family income to
    determine the total support amount for the child
   Apportion that support between the parents based
    on a ratio of their respective incomes
Income Shares Example

 Mom makes $4000 net per month
 Dad makes $2000 net per month
Total Family Income is $6000 per month
 Assume that the economic data shows that families
  with $6000 in net monthly income spend 20% of that
  income on one child, or $1200 per month
 Apportion that $1200 support amount between the
  parties based on a ratio of their incomes
   – Mom pays $800
   – Dad pays $400
The underlying economic data

 Thomas Espenshade, New Estimates of
  Parental Expenditures (1984)
 Robert Williams, “Guidelines for Setting
  Levels of Child Support Orders”
Both Espenshade’s book and Williams’ article
  are based on Department of Agriculture data
  from the 1980’s
Common threads in underlying data

   As income goes up, the percentage of
    income spent on children declines
   As the number of children in the family
    increases, the percentage of income spent
    on each child decreases
Fixed Percentage (Wisconsin)
Guideline Model

   This is the method most states used, formally
    or informally, before the federal government
    mandated guidelines
   Support is set at a fixed percentage of the
    non-custodial parent’s income
   Percentage varies with number of children in
    the family, but not with income
Melson (Delaware) Formula

   Named for its developer, Judge Edward Melson, a
    family court judge in Delaware
   Allows parents to keep enough income to meet basic
    needs (to avoid destroying the incentive to work)
   All income above parents’ basic needs goes to child
    support until child’s basic needs are met
   Once child’s basic needs are met, all additional
    parental income is shared with the children so they
    can benefit from the parents’ increased standard of
Melson Methodology

   Determine each parent’s “net available income,”
    which is net income after subtraction of a basic
    needs allowance
   Determine the child’s subsistence level support
   Prorate the child’s needs between the parents based
    on a ratio of the parents’ respective net available
   Use a “Standard of Living Allowance” or SOLA to
    determine what percentage of the each parent’s
    remaining income is allocated to child support
Melson Example

   Mom makes $4000 per month
   Dad makes $2000 per month
   Each parent has a $1000 monthly basic
    needs allowance, leaving Mom with $3000 of
    income available for support and Dad with
    $1000 available for support
Melson Example (Continued)

   Child has basic support need of $250 per
    month, which is apportioned between Mom
    and Dad based on ratio of net available
   Mom has $3000 (75%) and Dad has $1000
    (25%), so Mom pays $187.50 and Dad pays
Melson Example (Concluded)

   Apply Standard of Living Allowance (SOLA) to
    remaining income of each parent
   SOLA for one child is 15%
   Applying 15% SOLA to Mom’s remaining income of
    $2,812.50 ($3,000 less basic child support of
    $187.50) adds another $421.88 to her monthly
    support, for a total of $609.38
   Applying 15% SOLA to Dad;s remaining income of
    $937.50 ($1,000 less basic child support of $62.50)
    adds another $140.63 to his monthly support, for a
    total of $203.13
Cassetty (Income Equalization) Model

   Most radical approach of the four models
   Not in use anywhere
   Goal is to provide equivalent living standards
    in the two post-divorce households
Cassetty Methodology

   Exempt from the net incomes of each parent
    enough income to support that parent’s post-
    divorce household at the poverty level
    (similar to Melson)
   Apportion all remain family income between
    the two households based on the number of
    persons in each post-divorce household
Cassetty Example

   Mom makes $4,000 net per month and lives alone
   Dad makes $2,000 net per month and has custody
    of the two children
   2005 federal poverty level is $798 for a family of one
    and $1,341 for family of three
   Dad has $659 above poverty level and Mom has
    $3,202, for a total of $3,861
   Dad gets 75% ($2,895) of the $3,861 and Mom gets
    25% ($965.25) of the $3,861, which results in Mom
    paying Dad $2,236.75 per month
Comparison of the four models

   Income Shares guidelines tend to depress child
    support levels at high incomes and increase it at
    very low incomes
   Melson tends to increase child support at high
    incomes, but reduce it at very low incomes
   Cassetty increases support at moderate and high
   Fixed percentage tends to increase child support at
    high incomes, unless the guideline has a cap
Child Support

      Part 3 – Determining
      Support in Florida
Duty to support children

   The court may require either or both parents to pay
    support in accordance with the guidelines, whether
    the child is born in or outside of marriage
   Every child support order must contain a provision
    for health insurance for the child when insurance is
    reasonably available
   The cost of health care coverage and uncovered
    expenses is apportioned between the parents based
    on a ratio of incomes
   Parent cannot bargain away a child’s right to support
When does that duty end?

   Support typically ends at the age of majority (18)
   A court may order child support beyond the age of
    majority if the person is dependent in fact, is
    between the ages of 18 and 19, and is still in high
    school performing in good faith with a reasonable
    expectation of graduation before the age of 19
   If there is a reasonable expectation of graduation
    within a short time period after a child's 19th
    birthday, child support may be ordered beyond age
What about college expenses?

   The court cannot order a parent to finance a child's
    college education. Grapin v. Grapin, 450 So. 2d 853
    (Fla. 1984)
   But parties may contract in their Marital Settlement
    Agreements to provide for college education or other
    support beyond majority
   These contracts are enforceable by the court. Finn
    v. Finn, 312 So. 2d 726 (Fla. 1975), McIlmoil v.
    McIlmoil, 784 So. 2d 557 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001)
Death of the Obligor?

   States are split on this issue
Florida’s Income Shares Guideline

   Florida's child support guidelines contain a
    schedule of support based upon a combined
    net income of up to $10,000 a month
   The schedule is found at Fla. Stat. § 61.30
   Variations of up to 5% above or below the
    scheduled amount are permitted without
    triggering a finding of “deviation”
High income cases

   For incomes exceeding the $10,000
    schedule ceiling, the amount of support
    determined by the schedule should be added
    to the excess income multiplied by:
     – 5% for one child
     – 7.5% for two children
     – 9.5% for three children
     – 11 % for four children
     – 12% for five children
     – 12.5% for six children
Determining Monthly Net Income

   Need to first determine gross income
    including everything in the guideline statute,
    Fla. Stat. §61.30(2)(a)
   Then subtract those deductions allowable
    under the guideline statute, Fla. Stat.
    –   Not the same as tax code deductions
What is included in gross income for
child support purposes?

   Salary or wages
   Bonuses, commissions, allowances, overtime, tips,
    and other similar payments
   Business income from sources such as self-
    employment, partnerships, close corporations, and
    independent contracts
   Disability benefits
   Worker's compensation
   Unemployment compensation
   Pension, retirement, or annuity payments
   Social security benefits
Also included in gross income for child

   Spousal support received from a previous marriage or court
    ordered in the marriage before the court
   Interest and dividends
   Rental income, which is gross receipts minus ordinary and
    necessary expenses required to produce the income.
   Income from royalties, trusts, or estates.
   Reimbursed expenses or in-kind payments to the extent that
    they reduce living expenses. Per diem expenses are not
    included. Allowances for travel, housing, and vehicle or gas are
   Gifts, which are continuing and regular in both amount and
   Gains derived from dealings in property, unless the gain is
What is deducted from gross income
to determine net income for child

   Federal, state, and local income tax deductions,
    adjusted for actual filing status and allowable
    dependents and income tax liabilities
   Federal insurance contributions or self-employment tax
   Mandatory union dues
   Mandatory retirement payments
   Health insurance payments, excluding payments for
    coverage of the minor child
   Court-ordered child support for other children which is
    actually paid
   Spousal support paid pursuant to a court order from a
    previous marriage or the marriage before the court
Sample Florida Income Shares Support

   Mom has $4,000 net monthly income
   Dad has $2,000 net monthly income
   Total of $6,000 net monthly income results in a total
    basic support obligation of $1,121 for one child (see
    statutory table or worksheet)
   That is apportioned between the parents based on a
    ratio of their incomes.
   Mom’s support obligation is 67% x $1,121, or
    $751.07, if Dad has custody.
   Dad’s support obligation is 33% of $1,121, or
    $369.93 if Mom has custody.
Court can also consider other factors
as provided in Fla. Stat. §61.30(11)(a)
to “Deviate” from guideline amount:

   The existence or expectation of extraordinary medical,
    psychological, educational or dental expense
   Independent income of the child, not including supplemental
    social security income received on the child's account
   Payment for support of a parent which regularly has been paid
    and for which there is a demonstrable need
   Seasonal variations in one or both parent's income or expenses
   The age of the child, taking into account the greater needs of
    older children
   Special needs that have been traditionally met within the family
    budget even though fulfilling those needs will cause the support
    to exceed the guidelines
   Total available assets of the obligor, obligee, and the child
Other deviation factors:

   Impact of the IRS dependency exemption and the waiver of
    same. (The court has jurisdiction to order a party to execute a
    waiver to the other)
   Where the guidelines would require a person to pay more than
    55 percent of his gross income for a child support obligation for
    current support resulting from a single support order
   Where the child spends a significant amount of time, but less
    than 40% of overnights, or. refusal of the non-custodial parent
    to become involved in the child's activities
   Any other adjustment which is needed to achieve an equitable
    result. This could be a necessary debt or expense incurred
    during the marriage which has been assumed by one of the
“Good Fortune’ cases

   Where non-custodial parent is wealthy (for
    example, a professional athlete), the court
    may order that support beyond what is need
    to meet the child’s needs (consistent with the
    lifestyle of the parents), be paid to a guardian
    and supervised by the probate court. Finley
    v Scott, 707 So. 2d 1112 (Fla1998).
Finley v Scott: Two competing

   In this case, the mother is raising the child on a
    much lower standard of living than would be
    established by the father, if the child were living at
    his current lifestyle [as a professional athlete] of
    $266,926.00 gross income per month. He could well
    afford, for example, a full time nanny, housekeepers,
    international travel, residence in a mansion with high
    attendant expenses, and transportation in expensive
    automobiles--a portion of which could be allocated to
    this child.
Finley v Scott, the other side:

   However, the mother is not able, in this case, to live at that
    standard of living. She must provide for herself and her other
    two children. They cannot benefit from the child support paid for
    this child, although the mother tried to do so, and has been
    properly reprimanded by the trial court for that effort. At her
    standard of living, the trial court found that only $ 2,000.00 was
    actually being spent on this child. However, if the father's child
    support obligations are limited to this level, the child will not
    share in her father's much higher standard of living and
    lifestyle. Clearly the "needs" of this child should not be
    solely based on what the mother can afford to spend on
    her, consistent with the mother's much lower standard of
    living. That also would be inequitable.
If deviating from guideline:

   Court must make written findings of the facts
    supporting deviation
   Court must conclude that, based on those
    factual findings, application of the guideline
    amount would be “unjust or inappropriate”
   These findings must be made even in those
    cases where the parties agree to a deviation
“Substantial time” adjustment in Fla.
Stat. §61.30(11)(b) – added in 2001

   Where the court ordered or agreed-upon
    custody/visitation schedule has the child spending a
    “substantial amount of time” with each parent,
    there will be an adjustment in support to account for
    the non-custodial parent’s greater than typical
    assumption of the day to day costs of childrearing
   “Substantial amount of time" means that the non-
    custodial parent exercises visitation at least 40
    percent of the overnights during the year
   Formula is cumbersome, so use software to calculate
Subsequent Children adjustment (Fla.
Stat. §61.30(12)

   May only be raised in a proceeding for an upward
    modification of an existing award and may not be
    applied to justify a decrease in an existing award
   Court may disregard the income from secondary
    employment obtained in addition to the parent's
    primary employment if that employment was
    obtained primarily to support the subsequent
   Not generally a basis to deviate from the guideline. If
    the existence of subsequent children is raised, the
    income of the other parent of the subsequent
    children shall be considered by the court in
    determining whether or not there is a basis for
    deviation from the guideline amount
Failure to Visit adjustment - Fla. Stat.

   A noncustodial parent's failure to regularly
    exercise court-ordered or agreed visitation
    not caused by the custodial parent may
    result in an adjustment (increase) in child
   A modification for failure to regularly visit
    shall be retroactive to the date the non-
    custodial parent first failed to regularly
    exercise court-ordered or agreed visitation
Additional Support (beyond guideline)

   Child Care Expenses
   Health Care Insurance and Uninsured
Child Care Expenses, Fla. Stat.

   Child care costs incurred on behalf of the children due to
    employment, job search, or education calculated to result in
    employment or to enhance income of current employment of
    either parent shall be reduced by 25 percent and then shall be
    added to the basic obligation
   After the adjusted child care costs are added to the basic
    obligation, any moneys prepaid by the noncustodial parent for
    child care costs for the child or children shall be deducted from
    that noncustodial parent's child support obligation for that child
    or those children.
   Child care costs shall not exceed the level required to provide
    quality care from a licensed source for the children.
Health care insurance and expenses,
Fla. Stat. §61.30(8)

   Health insurance costs and any noncovered medical,
    dental, and prescription medication expenses of the
    child, shall be added to the basic obligation unless
    these expenses have been ordered to be
    separately paid on a percentage basis
   After the health insurance costs are added to the
    basic obligation, any moneys prepaid by the
    noncustodial parent for health-related costs for the
    child or children of this action shall be deducted from
    that noncustodial parent's child support obligation for
    that child or those children
What about private school tuition as
child support?

 No uniform view around the U.S, but in Florida, the
  answer is yes, if any of the following apply:
   – They have the ability to pay, and such attendance is
     in the child's best interest
   – They agree that the child should attend private
   – Private school is in their customary standard of living
   – The child has a special need that cannot be met by
     public schools
See Forrest v. Ron, 821 So. 2d 1163 (Fla. 3d DCA 2002)
Imputation of Income in Florida, Fla.
Stat. 61.30(2)(b)

   If a parent chooses to be voluntarily
    unemployed or underemployed, income may
    be imputed by the court for purposes of
    determining guidelines support
   Requires a finding that the parent had the
    intent to refuse to work
   Absent special circumstances, income may
    not be imputed at a level which the parent
    has never earned
Imputation Factors

   Recent work history, as well as occupational
    qualification, prevailing earnings in the community
    and the availability in the community must be
    considered when imputing income
   The court may refuse to impute income to a primary
    residential parent if the court finds it necessary for
    the parent to stay home with the child
   Competent evidence and specific findings are
    required before imputation may be ordered
Security for Child Support

 Court may order child support (or alimony) obligor to
  obtain or maintain sufficient life insurance to secure
  the present value of his/her remaining obligation
 Court must consider evidence of the payor's
  insurability, the cost of the proposed insurance, and
  the payor's ability to afford the insurance
Lopez v Lopez, 780 So. 2d 164 (Fla 2nd DCA 2001)
Support and visitation are independent

  FL. Stat. § 61.13(4):
(a) When a noncustodial parent who is ordered to pay
   child support or alimony and who is awarded
   visitation rights fails to pay child support or alimony,
   the custodial parent shall not refuse to honor the
   noncustodial parent's visitation rights.
(b) When a custodial parent refuses to honor a
   noncustodial parent's visitation rights, the
   noncustodial parent shall not fail to pay any ordered
   child support or alimony.
Child Support

      Part 4 – Modification
Modification Factors, Fla. Stat. §
61.13(1), 61.30(11):

   In the best interests of the child;
   When the child reaches majority; or
   When there is a substantial change in the
    circumstances of the parties.
What is a substantial change of

   A change in circumstances must be
    significant, material, involuntary and
    permanent in nature. Fisher v. Fisher, 722
    So. 2d 243 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998).
   The guidelines themselves may be the basis
    for establishing substantial change, but the
    difference between original and present
    amount must be at least 15% or $50 per
    month, whichever is more. Fla. Stat.
Burden of Proof for Modification

   Burden is on party seeking modification, and
    is heavier when child support was based on
    agreement of parties and incorporated into
    the order. Overbey v. Overbey, 698 So. 2d
    811 (Fla. 1997).
Overbey – Voluntary Reduction

   Janet Overbey (the mother) and Daniel Overbey (the
    father) were divorced in 1990. The father was to pay
    child support for the parties' two minor children in the
    amount of $ 200 per week. As of 1994, the father's
    income as a police officer was approximately
    $45,000 per year and the mother's income as a
    practical nurse was approximately $24,000 per year.
   In 1995, the father was accepted to law school and
    applied for a reduction in child support to enable him
    to attend. The mother opposed the motion,
    contending that the father's voluntary decision to
    attend law school did not constitute a significant
    change of circumstances justifying a reduction in
    child support.
Result – No Modification

   The father's decision to attend law school was a
    voluntary one that could not take precedence over
    the welfare of the two minor children, particularly
    since one child would reach majority before the
    father finished school.
   Law school attendance was not a logical extension
    of the father's career as a police officer and was not
    contemplated until after the dissolution.
   No guarantee that the father will secure employment
    paying more than $ 45,000 per year (his police
    officer’s salary) immediately after he finishes law
Retroactive Modification

   An order modifying support may be
    retroactive to a date no earlier than the filing
    of a petition to modify
   Court cannot reduce or cancel arrearages
    accruing before the date of the petition
   Court can credit obligor’s overpayment if
    support is reduced retroactively
Automatic Modifications of Support?

   Courts cannot order automatic adjustments
    in child support.
   The parties, however, may agree to
    adjustments based on income tax returns,
    the consumer price index, or some other
    basis. Blue v. Blue, 188 So.2d 563 (Fla. 4th
    DCA 1966).
Termination of Support on Death of

   States are split on this question
   In Florida, support terminates on the death of
    the payor. Garcia v Gonzales, 654 So. 2d
    1064 (Fla. 3rd DCA 1995)
   Exception if the payer expressly agrees
    before death that his estate will be liable for
    continued support. Reinhardt v. Reinhardt,
    131 So. 2d 509, 512 (Fla. 3d DCA 1961),
    cert. discharged, 139 So. 2d 697 (Fla.
Child Support

      Part 5 – Collection and
How is support paid?

   Income Deduction Order
    –   Mandatory since 1997
   Must provide:
    –   direct the employer to deduct the amount required by the
        order from the obligor's income and forward it to the SDU
    –   specify the amount of any arrearage and direct that an
        additional 20% or more be withheld until the arrearage is paid
    –   advise the employer not to deduct more than is allowed by
        the Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. §1673(b)
    –   tell the employer whether to deduct additional amounts from
        any bonus or other similar one-time payment;
What are the federal child support
withholding limits?

   50 percent of net disposable earnings if
    payor is supporting another spouse or
    dependent child
   60 percent of net disposable earnings if
    payor is not supporting another spouse or
    dependent child
   Add 5 percent if there is a 12 week or greater
Process for implementation of Income
Deduction Order

   Obligee or his/her agent mails order to employer by
    certified mail, return receipt requested
   Order must be implemented by employer on the first
    pay day within 14 days of service of the notice of
    income deduction
   The deducted amount must be sent to the obligee or
    the SDU within two days of the payment date
   The employer can charge the employee up to $5 for
    the first payment and $2 for each subsequent
    payment to recover administrative costs in
    implementing income deduction.
Employer’s Obligations/Penalties

   Employer who fails to honor order is liable for the
    child support that was due, plus costs, interest, and
    attorneys' fees
   If the employee has left employment, the employer
    must notify the obligee and provide the employee’s
    last-known address and name and address of new
    employer, if known.
   Failure to comply with this requirement may result in
    a fine of up to $250 for the first violation and up to
    $500 for subsequent violations.
   An employer may not discharge or discipline an
    employee because of an Income Deduction Order.
    Violation results in fine of $250 for first violation and
    $500 for subsequent violations
Where paid?

   All payments be directed through the State
    Disbursement Unit (SDU). Clerks of the court
    in all circuits have contracted with the SDU to
    have all payments made to the SDU.
   If the parties agree and the court finds that it
    is in the child's best interest, support
    payments need not be made through the
Fees Charged by SDU

   The SDU may impose and collect a fee for its
    services for each payment. The fee may not
    be more than 4% of the payment and must
    be at least $1.25 but not more than $5.25.
   If a payment does not include the required
    fee, the fee may not be deducted from the
    support paid to the obligee.
   Nonpayment of the required fee is
    considered a delinquency and, when total
    fees not paid exceed $50, that delinquency
    becomes an enforceable judgment
Form of Payment

   Payments to the SDU may be made by
    personal check unless the obligor has
    previously submitted a check returned for
    insufficient funds
   If previous NSF check, payment must be
    made by cashier's check or money order
Time for Disbursement by SDU

   If payment is made to the SDU by cashier's
    check or money order, payment must be
    made to the obligee within two working days
   If payment is made by personal check, the
    SDU must make payment to the obligee
    within four working days
Enforcement by Contempt

   Contempt proceedings may be used to enforce
    orders for payment of child support
   The court in a contempt proceeding can enforce only
    preexisting obligations. Mintz v. Ellison, 233 So.2d
    156 (Fla. 3d DCA 1970).
   Enforcement may proceed even if the respondent
    has filed a petition to modify the support obligation in
    question. Howard v. Howard, 523 So.2d 1224 (Fla.
    4th DCA 1988).
Contempt Process/Hearing

   Court must find that the alleged contemnor received
    notice of the motion and hearing
   Moving party must then show that a previous order
    was entered and that the respondent has not
   Court must determine whether the alleged
    contemnor had the present ability to pay support and
    willfully failed to pay.
     – It is presumed that responded can pay support
        per the order, and he/she has burden of rebutting
        that presumption
   The court then issues a written order granting or
    denying the motion for contempt
Contempt Sanctions

• If the respondent is found in contempt, the
  court may impose coercive sanctions:
   • incarceration
   • imposition of attorneys' fees and costs
   • coercive or compensatory fines
Right to Purge Contempt

 Any sanction must contain a purge
  provision telling the respondent what
  he/she must do to purge the contempt
 Respondent must be given a
  reasonable time to purge the contempt
Other enforcement remedies

   Suspension of professional or occupational
    license, Fla. Stat. § 61.13015
    –   All other remedies must first be exhausted
    –   30 day notice to either pay the arrearage or reach
        an agreement with the obligee for payment
Interstate support enforcement:
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

   Home state retains continuing exclusive jurisdiction
    over child support
   Home state means "the state in which a child lived
    with a parent or a person acting as parent for at least
    6 consecutive months immediately preceding the
    time of filing of a petition or comparable pleading for
    support and, if a child is less than 6 months old, the
    state in which the child lived from birth with any of
    them. A period of temporary absence of any of them
    is counted as part of the 6-month or other period."
Single State Proceeding

   Florida court may exercise jurisdiction over a
    nonresident on any basis consistent with the United
    States and Florida constitutions in a proceeding to
    establish, enforce, or modify a support order, or to
    determine parentage.
     – Father's acquiescence to child living in Florida did
       not confer jurisdiction for child support
     – Nonpayment of support not tortious conduct for
       purposes of long-arm jurisdiction
   Florida law applies to the proceeding, and the
    remaining provisions of UIFSA do not apply
Two-State Proceeding

   Florida obligee may request through the
    Florida court that an enforcement request be
    sent to court of state where obligor resides
   The court of the state where the obligor
    resides may enforce the Florida support
    order using Income Deduction or Contempt,
    but may not modify the Florida order or
    cancel arrearages
Defenses to UIFSA action

   Obligor has very limited defense to
    enforcement action

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