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Tampa Family Lawyer > Blog > Child Support > What Should I Do If My Ex Refuses To Pay Child Support?

What Should I Do If My Ex Refuses To Pay Child Support?


Florida law requires that all parents pay for the support of their children. During a divorce, child support is calculated based on the income of both parents. When one spouse refuses to pay child support or is delinquent in their child support payments, it can make things difficult for the spouse who is supposed to be receiving child support. In these cases, the court will intervene on behalf of the parent and attempt to leverage the non-paying spouse into making their payments. In this article, the Tampa, FL child support attorneys at Faulkner Law Group, PLLC will discuss what you should do when your spouse is delinquent or refuses to make their child support payments.

You have legal options when your ex refuses to pay child support 

The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 is a piece of federal legislation that allows district attorneys to assist in the collection of court-ordered child support payments from parents who refuse to pay. District attorneys can intercept income tax refunds, establish real property liens, and report delinquent payments to credit reporting bureaus. The parent who is delinquent in their child support payments is typically served with papers by the district attorney from the family court in their county. The district attorney will request a meeting to establish a payment plan. The papers served to the delinquent parent will typically warn them that failure to comply with the order could result in jail time. Generally speaking, however, incarceration is generally ineffective at ensuring compliance with a child support order and will only be used as a last resort. In most cases, the district attorney will impose other legal consequences for non-payment.

Consequences for refusing to pay child support in Florida 

The Florida courts can impose a wide variety of sanctions on parents who refuse to pay child support. These include:

  • Losing points on their credit score
  • Driver’s license suspension or revocation
  • Suspension of a professional license (if the parent works in an industry that requires a professional license, the license can be suspended by the court depriving them of their ability to earn a living)
  • Wage garnishment (or taking a portion of the parent’s wages from their paycheck and paying it to the parent receiving child support)
  • Withhold federal income tax refunds
  • Property seizure
  • Placing a lien on real property
  • Criminal charges including jail time

If your ex refuses to make child support payments, you do have options. You can:

  • Attempt to communicate with your former spouse about the child support payment delinquency
  • Take legal action with the help of your Tampa family lawyer
  • File contempt proceedings
  • Petition the court to withhold your former spouse’s income
  • File a writ of execution
  • File for a judgment plus interest
  • Petition the court for imprisonment

Talk to a Tampa, FL Family Lawyer Today 

The Tampa, FL divorce attorneys at Faulkner Law Group, PLLC represent the interests of parents who are attempting to collect child support payments from their former spouse. Call our office today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your next steps immediately.



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