Florida child support laws provide many ways to enforce a child support order that cause inconvenience to the delinquent parent in order to coerce payment. One of those ways is suspension of the driver’s license of the parent who refuses to pay past-due child support.
A parent who is 15 days or more late in making a child support payment risks receiving a notice that his or her driver’s license will be suspended for non-payment. The notice is sent via United States postal mail to the delinquent parent’s address on file with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Within 20 days after the notice of intent to suspend a driver’s license is mailed, notice may be sent to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to suspend the license unless the owing parent:
1.a. Pays the delinquency in full and any other costs and fees accrued between the date of the notice and the date the delinquency is paid;
b. Enters into a written agreement for payment with the obligee in non-IV-D cases or with the Title IV-D agency in IV-D cases; or in IV-D cases, complies with a subpoena or order to appear, order to show cause, or a similar order;
c. Files a petition with the circuit court to contest the delinquency action;
d. Demonstrates that he or she receives reemployment assistance or unemployment compensation pursuant to chapter 443;
e. Demonstrates that he or she is disabled and incapable of self-support or that he or she receives benefits under the federal Supplemental Security Income program or Social Security Disability Insurance program;
f. Demonstrates that he or she receives temporary cash assistance pursuant to chapter 414; or
g. Demonstrates that he or she is making payments in accordance with a confirmed bankruptcy plan under chapter 11, chapter 12, or chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. ss. 101 et seq.; and
2. Pays any applicable delinquency fees.
See Fla. Stat. 61.1316.
Sometimes suspending a driver’s license may not be optimal because it affects the ability of the parent who owes support to go to work and earn money. This causes even more owed child support to pile up. However suspension may be an effective remedy in some cases.
If you need assistance with a driver’s license suspension, either as the parent seeking suspension or the parent whose license is at risk of being suspended, your path starts with a consultation with a Miami child support attorney. This may help you weigh the pros and cons of suspension or help you understand your best defenses against it.