Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

The State of Florida is authorized to initiate child support proceedings by serving a parent with notice of a proceeding to establish an administrative support order. This process is done by mail with a parent mailing requested proof of income and the Department of Revenue creating a proposed order to be sent to the parent who will pay child support. If the party disagrees with the order he or she can request a hearing. Because failure to respond to these documents could result in the entry of an order against a party which may not have accurate information, it is important not to ignore these mailed notices.

In the case Torres v. DOR, 241 So.3d 201 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018), the father appealed an administrative order for support which was entered after he failed to respond to any of the Department of Revenue’s notices regarding establishment of child support. When he did not respond to a request for his financial information, a proposed order was mailed to him. He did not respond to the proposed order and therefore it was confirmed by final order.

The order included findings that the father’s income accounted for over 80% of the combined incomes of the parents, and that he owed retroactive child support for 28 months. The father appealed this order. The only issue he brought up on appeal which the appellate court sided with him about was a credit of $200 he argued he should have received for the retroactive period. The appellate court held, “The father claims he cannot determine whether he received a credit for actual payments made to the mother. But, the record reflects the mother received a $200 payment during the retroactive period. The proposed order fails to reflect that credit. While not conceding its waiver argument, the DOR admits the father should receive a $200 credit. We agree. We therefore reverse and remand the case only for the father to receive the $200 credit toward retroactive child support.”

The father in this case may have spent less money on this issue and received a more accurate child support calculation had he exercised his rights upon receiving notice of initiation of the administrative support proceeding. If you have received notice of such a proceeding and you need help dealing with it, set a consultation with a Miami child support lawyer to go over your rights and remedies.