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For An Award Of Retroactive Child Support The Court Needs to Consider Whether And When Parents Lived Together With The Children

December 29, 2015 by  
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In Onye v. Department of Revenue o/b/o Missick, the Third District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida reversed an award of retroactive child support where the record before it did not explain whether the parents had resided together with the children during the period of retroactivity the  award was meant to relate to.

If you need to talk with a lawyer about child support or retroactive child support please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Child Support Enforcement Tools

October 13, 2015 by  
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If a parent fails to comply with a child support order the court has numerous tools available to it to attempt to enforce payment.  The following is a description of just some of the tools available:

An Income Deduction Order is an order of the court requiring an employer to deduct child support payments from the employees pay check.  Income deduction Orders work best when you know where the parent who owes support is working.  An income deduction order continues to apply even when a parent who owes support changes job.

Intercepts are a mechanism by which assets that would otherwise go to the parent that owed support are intercepted.  Such assets could include tax refunds, unemployment compensation and other such payments.

Seizure of assets, a court can order the seizure of assets held for the parent that owes support when those assets are held by for instance banks and other institutions.

Liens, a lien can be placed on real property, cars, boats and other such property.  Liens let a potential purchaser or recipient of the property know that money is owed on the property and may need to be paid for them to get title to it and make it hard to sell or transfer the property.

Contempt of Court, a parent that owes child support can be held in contempt of court for willful non-compliance with a support order.  If found in contempt the parent may be ordered to pay money or face arrest.

If you are seeking enforcement of a child support order or facing an enforcement action please contact our offices to arrange a consultation with one of our lawyers and attorneys on (786) 539-4935

 

Modification Of Child Support And Contempt For Non-payment Of Child Support

October 13, 2015 by  
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Where there has been a substantial change in circumstances because of a change in the parties incomes or because of a change in court ordered time-sharing a party can petition the court for a modification of child support.  Where a petition for modification of child support is filed a modification of child support can be retroactive to the date of filing.

Where a parent has failed to pay child support the other parent can seek to have the parent who should have paid found in contempt of court for non-payment of child support.

In the case of Rosenblum v. Rosenblum, the First District Court of Appeals ruled that since a petition for modification of child support was pending before the trial court and it predated the motion for contempt for non-payment of child support the trial court was required to hear the petition for modification first or at the same time as the motion for contempt and had committed reversible error in hearing the motion for contempt before the modification action.  The Court of Appeals reasoned that the amount that should have been paid was not certain until the petition for modification had been heard so it was error to find the parent who had not paid in contempt until the amount owed had been determined.

If you need to talk to a lawyer or attorney about a modification of child support or enforcement of a child support obligation please  contact us at (786)539-4935 to schedule a consultation.

A Trial Court May Not Adopt Or Ratify the Report And Recommendations Of A General Magistrate If The Magistrate Does Not File A Complete Record of the Evidence Before Them

August 18, 2015 by  
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Often times child support issues are referred by a circuit court judge to a hearing officer/general magistrate for determination.  Pursuant Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.490 a “magistrate” is responsible for ensuring that there is a full and complete record of a hearing before them.  

In the case of Garcia v. Garcia the Former Husband sought a downward modification of child support.  The evidence he presented included his own testimony and that of an accountant.  The Hearing Officer/General Magistrate ruled against the former husband stating that he had made a material and fraudulent omission in a financial affidavit and had not met his burden of showing a substantial change in circumstances to warrant a downward modification of child support.

The Former Husband took exceptions to the report and recommendations of the General Magistrate/Hearing Officer.  It was then discovered that the record from the hearings before the  General Magistrate/Hearing Officer was incomplete as it did not contain the testimony of the Former Husband or his accountant.  Regardless, the Circuit Court Judge denied the Exceptions to the Report and Recommendations of the Hearing Officer/General Magistrate and adopted the report.

The Third District Court of Appeals reversed the Circuit Court Judge’s denial of the exceptions and adoption of the Hearing Officer/General Magistrate’s report on the basis that the record was incomplete and remanded the case for further proceedings and a new hearing on the Former Husband’s Petition for a downward modification of child support.

It is important for a party seeking a modification of child support to present the right evidence to the court in support of the modification before a general magistrate/hearing officer.  It is also important to know the rules as to the exceptions and appeals process should the a trial court make the wrong decision based on the evidence and record before it.  

If you need to talk to a lawyer or attorney about a modification of child support, proceedings before a general magistrate or hearing officer, exceptions or an appeal you are welcome to contact our office to arrange a consultation on (786)539-4935

Disclaimer: The Law Offices of Robert Hanreck, P.A. is based in Miami , Florida and serves clients throughout the State including Miami-Dade and Broward counties. We are licensed to practice law in the State of Florida. This website is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal advice, or solicit clients outside of the State of Florida.