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Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Child Support > How to Get Child Support When the Other Parent Is Unemployed

How to Get Child Support When the Other Parent Is Unemployed


Having children is expensive and the costs tend to increase the older they get. If you are single or going through a divorce, it is important to take the steps needed to ensure the other parent pays their share. If they have quit their job or are otherwise unemployed, this can present a challenge but it does not relieve them of their obligation. As experienced Fort Lauderdale child support attorneys, we can guide you in the steps needed to make them pay.

Child Support Orders When the Other Parent Does Not Work 

Under Section 61.30 of the Florida Statutes, all parents are required to financially support any children they have. In determining the amount you are entitled to, the judge will consider several factors;

  • The combined income and earnings of both parents;
  • The amount of time the child spends in each home;
  • The standard of living the child would enjoy if the parents were together;
  • Any special needs the child has.

In these types of cases, it is not uncommon for the parent required to pay child support to quit their job or work under the table as a way of avoiding this obligation. Even with a lack of income, the judge can still issue a child support order. Rather than basing it on the amount they actually make, the judge will impute an amount based on their previous employment history and earnings, any benefits they receive, and the amounts your child would otherwise be entitled to.

Collecting Child Support From a Non-Working Parent

Once a child support order is put in place, it can be enforced through the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR). The parent is required to pay the amount ordered by the court. If they fail to do so or are late on a payment, the amount continues to accrue. A warrant may eventually be issued in the case, subjecting them to fines and immediate arrest.

Wage garnishment is a useful tool in enforcing child support payments. Once the other parent does get work, they will be required to pay the current monthly obligation and a partial payment for any back child support owed. If they refuse to get a job, there are still options for obtaining payments:

  • A lien may be placed on their bank accounts, allowing any funds deposited to be seized;
  • The government may seize any income tax refunds they are entitled to, putting these amounts towards their child support debts.
  • Any lottery or prize winnings may be seized as well.
  • A portion of the amount owed may be garnished from unemployment, Social Security, or Veteran’s benefits they may be entitled to receive.

Let Us Help You Today

There are options in collecting child support from non-working parents. Fort Lauderdale child support attorney Vanessa L. Prieto has the skill and experience needed to act as a strong advocate on your side in these types of cases. Call or contact our Fort Lauderdale office online and schedule a consultation to discuss your options today.


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