Knowledge, Insight & Other Various Musings
Behind on Florida Child Support Payments? Sh*t’s About to Get Real
For many parents, Family Law disbursements have become just another item to tick off on their monthly budgets. During the 2018-2019 fiscal financial year, the Department of Revenue estimated a total of 637,000 cases with an existing obligation. But, as we all know, just because someone is ordered to do something, it doesn’t mean they’ll follow through. To illustrate this point, all one has to do is take a look at data on both the national and state levels.
According to a 2018 report released by the United States Census Bureau, only 43.5% of parents reported receiving the full amount of payments due. Palm Beach County’s apparent wealth gap admittedly adds some complexity to the statistics relating to unpaid Florida child support. For example, it’s not uncommon to be hit up for change mere blocks away from the decadence of Worth Avenue whose retail offerings include Chanel and Louis Vuitton. This disparity has become even more obvious in recent weeks with the infiltration of Coronavirus.
As of February 2020, records released by the Department of Revenue show three cases in Palm Beach County where more than $1 million in Florida child support is still owed. But it’s not just the Maserati driving, Rolex Oyster Perpetual flashing sector of the population failing to cough up the cash. And in our current Twilight Zone turned reality, the lack of available income due to COVID-19 could spell disaster for those not fuming over missed tee times at Mar-A-Lago.
Florida has one of the largest job loss numbers in the U.S.; between 14.7 and 17.0% of total private-sector employment. This is largely due to the sunshine state’s vast hotel and resort industry, a sector which was one of the first to conduct massive layoffs in the shadow of COVID-19. To break this down further, roughly 326,000 Florida workers applied for unemployment benefits in 2019. To date, more than 520,000 applicants have requested assistance since March 15.
It’s Not a Stretch to Assume That a Fair Number of Them Were Unable to Make Their Florida Child Support Payments Post Outbreak
To combat this economic crisis, Congress passed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in an attempt to sustain the economy as the number of states with stay at home orders climbs. Among the provisions of this legislation is the release of $1,200 stimulus payments to Americans with annual incomes up to $75,000. The largest emergency aid package in our country’s history also provides parents an additional $500 for each qualifying child.
In this time of unprecedented crisis, relief funds are accessible to portions of the population most of us would find unworthy. For example, those who owe back taxes. As long as income guidelines are met, those folks are in the clear. Some portions of the population, like those who have unpaid student loans, are finally getting the break they deserve and can expect their share of the stimulus payment.
There is seemingly only one exception to Uncle Sam’s generosity. If you find yourself in the demographic of those who owe Florida child support, you’re out of luck. While this is certainly appropriate for those who choose to spend their kid’s support payments on a jeroboam of Cristal at Sunday brunch, it may not bode as well for the bar back with six kids who fetched the bottle from The Circle’s cellar.
Of course, the chances of the former qualifying for the stimulus payment in the first place are low unless he has Walter Anderson’s accountant on the payroll. For the latter, though, the stakes are high. The problem is, there’s no way to determine the motivation behind the missed payments.
Other than giving you something to chew on, if you find yourself in a compromised economic position and unable to meet your Florida child support obligations, contact us today to file a modification. There is no time for action like that in which we find ourselves as it is far better to adapt than to languish by the wayside and wait for it to blow over.
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