I requested a child support modification (I pay the support) because 2 of the 3 children now live with me. We finally have agreed to an amount but her lawyer included language that says "shall be paid via an income deduction order, and through the Florida Disbursement Unit.
I don't have any issues with paying via the state, but not through "garnishment". She says her lawyer says that's how it's worded now, since the laws changed a year or two ago, but that the wages are not garnished unless an enforcement order has been given. Is this correct?
Also they stipulated effective January 1, 2013 even though I filed for modification Sept. 18, 2012. (the kids came to live with me 1 in august of 2011, and the other in august of 2012)
An income withholding order should be entered unless the parties agree that support shall be directly paid by payor and there haven't been any issues with payment thus far. This is something that you can raise at the final hearing and state that you want to hold off on the IWO unless an issue arises regarding non-payment. You can ask for specific language stating it will be automatically entered if you miss one payment or something of that nature. Regarding the modification, if it is not retroactive to the filing date, request this as well; however, child support is a right vested in the child and it will depend on the circumstances whether it is granted.
Child Custody Lawyer
I agree with Ms. Gerber but would also say that it sounds like you're entering into a Consent Agreement on this issue and would suggest that you do not sign the agreement so long as the wording is not how you understood things would be. Did you waive having this agreement retroactive to the date of filing?
This response is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney to fully discuss your issues.
Family Law Attorney
I agree with all my colleagues. You do not want sign any legal documents without understanding what they mean. Trying to navigate the legal system on your own can often lead to negative consequences for you. My office is located in the Brandon area. You can schedule an appointment for an initial consultation by contacting my office at 813-374-0353.