My Problem Is

Who is the DOR? Why are they involved in my case?

The DOR is the State of Florida Department of Revenue. It is essentially the State of Florida’s IRS. It collects money to operate the state’s services. One of its functions is to collect child support for those who parents who have received governmental assistance. The child support is usually then kept by the state to reimburse the State its welfare payments. It also can seek to enforce and collect support for parents who have never received governmental assistance, but only on the request of that parent.

My driver’s license is being suspended by child support.

The State has the legal right to suspend your driver’s license when you are $500 delinquent in child support. Sometimes, the amount of your delinquency is totally wrong, especially if you have been paying the mother directly and there is a delay in those payments being reported. If you get a letter of intent to suspend BEFORE they suspend your license, call us right away. This is the best time to contact us, as it will cost you less to prevent its suspension that it would to reinstate a suspended license. If you get to us after it has already been suspended, we will have to file the appropriate pleading to get it reinstated. Then you will have to take your reinstatement court order to the DMV. Our pricing is the same for either motion, but reinstating your already suspended license will cost you a fee at the DMV.

If the child support delinquency being reported is inaccurate, we can also file a pleading to correct the Central Depository records, which, if granted might help prevent any future suspension activity.

Note that if you subsequently do not comply with your support order, the department may commence a new proceeding to suspend again. In addition, a proceeding to suspend a license may apply to one or more of your professional licenses as well, so it is important to be current on your support obligation.

I don’t think this child is mine. How can I find out?

If you never signed the birth certificate and are not married to the mother, DNA testing is the sure fire way to clear all doubt. Do not sign the certificate until you first consult an attorney. Request a DNA test, which costs about $175.00 and is completely confidential. You can get a result in as fast as three weeks. DADvocacy™ has a relationship with a DNA lab, and they make DNA testing available for our clients at the same cost that the State charges. The difference with going with the lab we use, and a less advanced operation is that the sample from the baby is drawn from saliva, and there is no Court getting the test done or learning the results. We can supply you with a DNA kit. We think kids are better off never knowing if their paternity was questioned. If you signed the birth certificate less than two months (60 days) ago, you need to send a letter to the Bureau of Vital Statistics immediately telling them that you wish to rescind your acknowledgment of paternity. We can help you with that letter. If you signed the birth certificate more than two months (60 days) ago and did not rescind the acknowledgment. You will need to hire an attorney to discuss your legal rights and determine the appropriate pleadings to file on your behalf.

I got a letter showing a huge child support delinquency — it can’t be right!

Sometimes there are inaccuracies, especially if you have paid the mom directly and with cash. Other times, your employer is sending in the child support a bit later than the day the support is charged. Whatever the problem is, one way to find out is to go to Court and have your records corrected with the Department of Revenue. We can do this for you. Gather all of your receipts, purchase receipts, money orders, bank checks, etc. and organize them by date. Immediately stop paying the Mother directly and send all your future support monies into the court registry until the court advises you otherwise.

I lost my job and can’t afford to pay my support anymore.

Everyone has been affected by the failing economy, often making support obligations harder to fulfill each month. If your income or wages have been involuntarily reduced, you may qualify for a child support downward modification. There needs to be a substantial change of circumstances upon which a modification of an existing order may be granted. Using your new income, if the child support guidelines render a 15% or $50 difference than your current ongoing amount, the court could find that a substantial change of circumstances exists in your case. DO NOT believe the rumor that one of your friends is only paying $100 per month for two kids. Each case is different and with different circumstances, however, the Department of Revenue, and the judge must follow the child support guidelines. There are some instances for discounts off of those guidelines. Ask us if any apply to you.

My child has turned 18, or is no longer living with the mother. How do I stop my wages from being garnished?

It depends whether or not your court order to pay child support was issued prior to October 2011. Once your child has reached the age of eighteen (18) and has graduated high school, your child is considered emancipated, and in most cases the Department of Revenue suspends any further deductions from your income. However, there are times when the Department of Revenue fails to suspend or there is still an outstanding arrearage of support owed to the mother. If you do not act on this problem, the Department will continue to deduct the support. You will need to petition the court for relief and make sure that the ongoing issue is addressed

What determines the amount of child support I am ordered by the court to pay?

The amount of child support is governed by the guidelines established by the Florida Statutes. A child support guideline worksheet will show you and the court how your individual facts fit into the Florida child support law. The guidelines amount is based on the number of children and the combined income of the parents. The child support obligation is divided between the parents in direct proportion to their income or earning capacity. The court may also take into consideration the amount of overnight timesharing with each parent. A new Florida law discounts a father’s child support obligation if the minor child resides overnight with the father for at least 20% of overnights.

DO NOT believe the rumor that one of your friends is only paying $100 per month for two kids. Each case is different and with different circumstantial facts, however, the Department of Revenue must follow the child support guidelines. There is some downward leeway in the guidelines under certain conditions. Ask us if you qualify.

Can I stop paying support if I’m denied visitation?

Child support and Visitation are two separate issues, and both are considered a right that belongs to the child. One parent can’t withhold visitation because of nonsupport and vice versa. Only a judge can order support to be stopped. Good advice is to continue paying your support in order to avoid contempt charges for non-payment of support. If visitation is being denied, you may file a contempt motion with the court. We can help you file that motion on your own. Visitation, now called Timesharing in the State of Florida, is liberally granted to fathers as a right that belongs to the child.

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