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FAQ: Unified Family Court

Child Support (Florida Statute 61.13)

Child Support - (561) 355-6511 (General information); 1-877-769-0251 (State of Florida Child Support Disbursement Unit automated system for individual case information)

Definitions

Legal Information/Case Records

Payments

Income Deduction Order (IDO)

Delinquent/Stopping Payments

Fees – See Fees & Costs

Name or Address Change

 

Definitions
What is Child Support?

Money paid from one parent to the other for the benefit of their children.

What is a Parenting Plan?

This is a document created to govern the relationship between the parties relating to the decisions that must be made regarding the minor child, ie: the child's care, health, education, physical, social and emotional well being. It shall include a Time-Sharing Schedule.

What is a Time-Sharing Schedule?

This is a time table included in the Parenting Plan that specifies the time, including overnights and holidays, that a minor child will spend with each parent. It must be ordered by or approved by the Court.

Who is the non-custodial parent (also referred to as a non-residential parent, respondent or obligor)?

Formerly, this was the term used for the parent who does NOT live with the child.

Who is the custodial parent (also referred to as primary residential parent, petitioner or obligee)?

Formerly, this was the term used for the parent or person who DOES live with the child.

What is the Florida State Disbursement Unit (SDU)?

The SDU is required by Federal Law to collect and disburse child support payments ordered by the court.

What is an Income Deduction Order (IDO)? (FL Statute 61.1301)

A court order that instructs the payor’s employer to withhold the child support payment from the payor’s income and send to it to the SDU or directly to the other parent.

What is a Notice of Delinquency?

A notice served to the payor/obligor when the record indicates the payments are late and pursuant to statutory guidelines.

Legal Information/Case Records
Who will maintain the records and payment history for my case?

The Clerk & Comptroller (in the county where you filed) is the "Official Record Keeper" and is responsible for:

  • Initially setting up the case
  • Maintaining a written record of all court hearings
  • Tracking the late payments (if payments are made through the court by order of the courts)
  • Collecting and disbursing some child support payments (if payments are made through the court by order of the court)

Many spouses pay the other spouse directly.  You are responsible for maintaining your records.

How can I access these records?
How can I get help with my case?
  • For legal advice, you must contact an attorney, or call the Lawyer Referral Service at (561) 687-3266 or 1-800-342-8011.
  • For more information:
    • Call the State of Florida Child Support Disbursement Unit for individual case information at 1-877-769-0251
    • Visit any Clerk & Comptroller’s office location
    • Call the Self Service Center at (561) 355-7048
      • The Self Service Center has attorneys available for consultation and provides forms at a nominal cost.
    • The Florida State Courts web site, www.flcourts.org, may be helpful
How do I get help when I am not receiving Court Ordered Support?
Payments
How do I pay my Child Support?
  • By mail, send your check to the Florida State Disbursement Unit (FL SDU):

    FL SDU
    P.O. Box 8500
    Tallahassee, Florida 32314-8500

  • Online at https://www.myfloridacounty.com/child_support
    • Using your credit or debit card
    • Set up an automatic electronic transfer from your bank
  • Call FL SDU at 1-877-769-0251 and
    • Select the voice option about payments, or
    • Talk to a customer representative
  • Have your payment deducted from your paycheck through an Income Deduction Order
  • Make payments directly to the person owed the support (if stated by the court order)
How can I get credit for payments made directly to my spouse?

Contact an attorney, or you may contact the Self Service Center at (561) 355-7048 for forms.

How can I find out when the last payment was made?
  • Search online at https://www.myfloridacounty.com/child_support for information about the last five payments
  • Call the State of Florida Child Support Disbursement Unit at 1-877-769-0251
  • Call the Clerk & Comptroller’s Family Department at (561) 355-6511
Can the support payment amount be increased or reduced?

Florida law states that among other reasons, child support can be reduced or increased if a substantial change has occurred. This is done through an order of the court (see: Supplemental Petition for Modification).

How are support payments changed?
  • A party to the case/parent may request the change by calling the Self Service Center for proper forms at (561) 355-7048
  • The court will determine if the increase or decrease is granted or denied
  • A court order will be issued stating the amount of increase or reduction
  • The Clerk & Comptroller shall adjust the payment accordingly
How can I have my child support payments by direct deposit and I am not contracted with Department of Revenue (DOR)?

Fill out the Direct Deposit form and mail, with a copy of your current driver license or photo ID and a voided check or letter from your bank with routing number and account number, to: 

Sharon R. Bock, Clerk & Comptroller’s Office
Unified Family Court
P.O. Box 3597
West Palm Beach, FL 33402

Income Deduction Order (IDO)
How do I get my child support payments deducted from my paycheck?
  • You must file a motion for an Income Deduction Order
  • Motion information/form can be purchased from the Self Service Center at any Clerk & Comptroller’s office
  • A Notice to Payor must be issued to the employer by
    • The Department of Revenue
    • Your attorney
    • A party to the case/parent
When will my employer start making payments through the SDU?

Based on your Income Deduction Order, your employer must initiate payments within 15 business days after the employer received the Notice to Payor.

Do I have to get an Income Deduction Order every time there is a change of employment?

No, but you must have a new “Notice to Payor” along with a copy of the “Income Deduction Order” attached.

Delinquent/Stopping Payments
What happens if I receive a Delinquency Notice and I do not think I am behind on my payments?

If the records indicate the amount you owe (including other costs related to your case) is more than the normal payments, you may receive a delinquency notice. If you disagree with the notice, you may file a Notice to Contest within 15 days of the mailed notice.

What happens if I do nothing when I am mailed a Delinquency Notice?

If you do not make a payment, a judgment will be issued that becomes a lien against your property.

What age do my children have to be before I can stop paying child support?
How do I stop support when my child turns 18 or graduates from high school?
  • The Clerk & Comptroller’s office should adjust the records based on the Court Order defining the age or event that terminates support. The parties should call the Clerk & Comptroller's office if there is no specific date and/or to verify support has terminated.
  • You may consult an attorney.
  • You may call the Self Service Center at (561) 355-7048.
Fees

See Fees & Costs

Do I have to pay a fee to the Clerk & Comptroller with each payment?
  • You do not have to pay a fee to the Clerk & Comptroller if your case is filed through the Department of Revenue.
  • You will have to pay a Clerk & Comptroller’s fee if your case is paid through the court.
How much is the Clerk & Comptroller's fee?

The Clerk & Comptroller’s fee is four percent (4%) of the payment, or a maximum of $5.25.

What is the fee for getting copies of my records and certification?

Please see Fees & Costs for the current charge per page for copies and per document for certification.

Name or Address Change
How do I change my address?
  • You can only change your own address, and not that of an opposing party.
  • You must submit the change in writing, with a copy of your driver’s license and your case number, and mail it to:

    Clerk & Comptroller, Palm Beach County
    Family Support Division
    P.O. Box 3597
    West Palm Beach, FL 33402

  • Or, fax this information to (561) 355-7009
  • This change of address is only to the clerk.  If your case is with DOR (Department of Revenue), you must contact them directly at 1-800-622-5437 to change your address with them.
If the parent paying the child support moves to another state, can I still get child support?

Yes.  For more information:

 

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