If you are a federal employee and are paying child support, then this is for you! Do you know that you are still responsible for supporting your child(ren) regardless of the fact that you are not receiving a paycheck, child support garnishments are not available or you are not able to self-pay since you have no income?
The easiest scenario is for those that self-pay child support. You will need to have a conversation with the other party about your situation. Hopefully, he/she will be understanding of your plight and will work with you on a payment plan once your income is reinstated. Perhaps you can assist the other parent with transporting the children to and from school, extra-curricular activities, birthday parties, etc. or establish a plan to extend a helping hand with the children until you are able to pay child support. You should also notify the county Clerk where your child support order was entered that you are a federal employee and are impacted by the shutdown.
Child Support Garnishments are facilitated by the Florida Department of Revenue and you will need to speak with a Customer Service Agent regarding your situation. Your Social Security Number will be used to verify the account. The Agent will flag your child support account to prevent a default. Defaults can affect passports, drivers’ license and child support arrears. You are still responsible for the child support payments that should have been made during the government shutdown. For those that have the ability to pay their child support at the full or a reduced rate can pay on-line, over the phone, through the mail or at your local Child Support office. Otherwise, you can enter into a payment plan with the Department of Revenue that will commence at the end of the shutdown along with the normal child support obligation. Your court ordered child support amount will automatically start with your first paycheck.
Akilah Harris is an experienced child support attorney in Pembroke Pines, Florida and can assist you in your child support matter.