Overpayment of Child Support in Florida: Is that Money Gone, Or Will I Be Reimbursed?
The State of Florida treats child support awards very seriously, and carefully considers all factors of each parent and child’s circumstances before determining the most beneficial amount for everyone. Once an amount is determined, the payer can either set up a direct transfer to the recipient’s bank account, or they can make monthly payments to the child support office, which will then deposit the money into the recipient’s account as necessary. Typically this system is foolproof, but on occasion, a glitch occurs, and when it does, you may find that you have overpaid your child support.
According to Florida’s child support guidelines, child support is calculated by considering a number of factors, from the child’s age and the financial status of each parent. The courts are very accurate on how much the payer can realistically afford, and how much the payee needs to adequately support the child. Because of this, the courts recognize that overpayment can be detrimental not just to the paying parent, but also to the child, which is why they see to it that overpayment is reimbursed as quickly as possible.
Steps in Child Support Overpayment Reimbursement Cases
Step 1: Contact
First and foremost, the child support recipient must be notified of the overpayment, along with the Department of Children and Families. Once notified, the recipient will have a chance to pay you back upfront. If they are unable to do so, they may find that their benefits get reduced until the entire amount is repaid to you. Typically, benefits are reduced by 25 percent in the event of child support overpayment. If this is the case, the state will notify you of the reduced amounts, and give you a timeframe of when you should expect to be reimbursed for overpayment.
Step 2: Payments
Depending on how much you overpaid in child support, you may be reimbursed in one lump sum, or you may be reimbursed through a series of payments. Typically, the less you overpaid, the quicker you will see your money back.
Step 3: Constant Contact
Because child support is such a touchy subject – and because the state does not want you or the payee to get into any trouble due to missed child support payments or because of a failure to reimburse – the state will keep you in the loop for every step of the reimbursement process. Once both you and the payee have received notification of child support overpayment, you will be updated on the status of repayment, as well receive notifications on how to expect reimbursement.
Once your repayment has been processed through the state’s child support enforcement agency, the money will be sent along to you via mail.
Failure to Pay
Even if your child support payments end before you have been repaid, the overpayment will continue to be pursued by the state. If the child support recipient does not pay you back – and whether you want to press charges or not – the state will pursue payments through collection actions, withholding of wages, and judgments against the individual.
Consult a Child Support Attorney
At the Law Offices of Schwartz | White, we help our clients deal with issues regarding Florida's child support laws on a regular basis. Whether or not overpayment is a big deal to you, it is a big deal to the state, and as such, you want to be prepared for when they send you their first overpayment notification. Though you are not in any trouble for overpaying on your child support, having a family law attorney to guide you throughout the reimbursement process is beneficial—for both you and your former spouse.
For all of your child support questions, concerns, and needs, turn to our Boca Raton family law attorneys. To get started, contact our family law firm at 561.391.9943, or schedule a private consultation online today.