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My ex-husband violated his probation for driving on a suspended license due to non-payment of child support. What happens now?

Tampa, FL |

His attorney entered a written plea of not guilty. If he would just pay the court ordered support, DOR wouldn't have suspended his license. What happens now? Will the judge send him back to jail on the VOP? Will he now, finally, have to start paying the court ordered child support? Is there anything I can do to be sure its in his new terms of probation that he has to pay? Should I contact his attorney myself? What is proper procedure? I just want the support that was ordered to my children. He is capable of paying. He lives in half million dollar home and owns a business.

I should add, the support order is in Hillsborough County but the VOP is in Charlotte County. He owes me $149,000 in child support.

Attorney Answers 7

Posted

I know many attorneys believe that payment of child support is not or cannot become a condition of probation, but I must warn everyone to be aware that the standard conditions of probation under Section 948.03(g) of Florida Statutes includes that the probationer shall " Support his or her legal dependents to the best of his or her ability." And I must advise everyone -- probationers and attorneys advising probationers -- to be careful because this statutory standard condition of probation has been used to violate a probationer when the ability to pay child support was brought to the attention of a probation officer.

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Posted

Well.... his first probation officer (a female) said she wouldn't violate him for that. And she didn't...but now that he's been arrested for DWSL which triggered the VOP, I'm hoping they will make a condition based on that section of that statute that you mentioned. Its worth a shot for me to at least speak to his PO. Thanks for the info! He does indeed have the ability to pay he's just choosing not to. Maybe if I raise a stink about the statute, he'll be required to.

Posted

The new charge will subject him to jail/prison depending on the original charge and other facts. You can contact his lawyer to give your 2cents, but it may make no difference is he is going to jail and not back on probation.

John S. Riordan, Esq., RIORDAN & HERMAN, PL., West Palm Beach, FL, (561) 650-8291. Mr. Riordan is a former Palm Beach County Prosecutor and an experienced criminal defense lawyer handling cases in both State and Federal Courts throughout Florida. The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.

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Posted

How does the judge determine whether he goes back to jail or back on probation? The original charge was several counts of fraud and racketeering. He was sentenced to 10 yrs and served about 8. I'm just affraid he's going to cry poor, claiming he can't afford to pay support and that is why his license was suspended. Granted that is no excuse to continue to drive... DOR is awful at their attempts to collect. I'm just trying to come up with a creative way to be sure he has to pay and was hoping if he is put on probation again, that maybe paying the support per the court order could be included in the terms. Maybe I should call the probation officer instead??

Posted

Payment of child support will not be a condition of probation or part of any sentence in a criminal case. The two cases are completely separate. If you want a judge to enforce your right to child support, you should file a motion for contempt in the county where the child support order was entered.

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Posted

I understand they are separate. But why does probabtion put that statnadard language in the terms that says "You must obtain lawful employment after telling your employer of your probation, AND SUPPORT YORU CHILDREN TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY"?? What purpose does that serve if they probationer isn't required to pay what was ordered?? I'm just trying to understand how this a little better... Why even bother putting it in there?

Posted

You should contact an attorney who practices in the area of family law in order to become informed of what your rights are.

The information presented is for information purposes only based on the information provided. An attorney client relationship is not formed

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Posted

The suspension of his licenses for non-payment of child support caused his violation of probation and the new charge of DWLSR. It depends on what he is on probation for and how many violations he has had. A new law violation generally can lead to jail or priosn time depending on his record. The court cannot make payment of his child support a condition of his probation. You must seek enforcement of the child support order in a contempt proceeding in the Circuit court where the divorce decree and child support was entered.

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Posted

Thank you, Ms. Palmieri. We have been to court several times on a motion for contempt with the DOR. The problem is, it takes about six month to actually get before a hearing officer on a contempt motion. The DOR's new automated procedure system is awful! They send a first past due notice, then a second, then a third. By this time, 60 days have passed. When my ex ignores the notices, they send another notice giving him another 20 days to pay or they they will send a notice to the DMV to suspend the DL. When that time passes, they send the notice to the DMV and then the DMV sends a letter giving him - yes you guessed it - another 20 days. By this time another 30+ days have passed. He doesn't pay, and then the DMV sends the letter with the date of suspension. Then the DOR sets the contempt hearing. The judge orders him to pay, for example, $2,000 (divide that by the 5 months that have passed = $400 per month). He was ordered to pay $1,300 per month. He is a buisness owner in Pinellas County, lives in a half million dollar home in Gulf Port and drives a Cadillac. It sucks but it sounds like the only way to get it through the system faster is to hire an attorney. So I have to spend money, to get the money quicker, only to fork most of it over to an attorney. No offense of course...

Posted

VOP is typically a felony so he is in a lot of trouble.

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Posted

Why on earth would you want to further clog up the criminal courts with a child support issue? You're not doing anything to help yourself. Hire a good family law attorney to pursue your ex for support, fees and costs.

This is not intended as legal advice.

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Posted

How is my wanting my court ordered child support written into the terms of his probation “clogging up the court system?” My ex is the idiot that chose to voluntarily break the law by driving on a suspended license! While on felony probation to boot!  Only one clogging up the court system s is him, with his stupidity, and total lack of respect for the legal system. He drove himself to a probation appointment! Who does that?! Seriously… I’m just trying to find out procedurally 1. If he will more than likely go back to jail based on the type of VOP (DWSL) and 2. if it is possible to have the court ordered support included in the terms of his probation should the judge decide to spare him jail and put him back on probation. The part of his probation that states he is to “support his dependent children to the best of his ability” is loose. I would like it to be more specific if that is possible. Just trying to find out from some “professionals” if that is even an option. I’m not the one clogging up the court system…. And you have a shi&^%y attitude to say the least…

Paul Domenic Petruzzi

Paul Domenic Petruzzi

Posted

You obviously did not understand me and I really don't appreciate the attitude when I'm offering you free advice. I said clogging up the "criminal" courts. And I meant it. Your family case issues and your child support will not and cannot be handled in criminal court. What you have done and what your idiot husband has done may put him in jail and further deprive you and your children of support money. That is exactly why I advised you to get a family law attorney to take your case and go after your ex for fees and costs in addition to support. Don't you think an order from a family court judge garnishing wages would be more productive than an order from a criminal court judge incarcerating your ex?

Paul Domenic Petruzzi

Paul Domenic Petruzzi

Posted

You obviously did not understand me and I really don't appreciate the attitude when I'm offering you free advice. I said clogging up the "criminal" courts. And I meant it. Your family case issues and your child support will not and cannot be handled in criminal court. What you have done and what your idiot husband has done may put him in jail and further deprive you and your children of support money. That is exactly why I advised you to get a family law attorney to take your case and go after your ex for fees and costs in addition to support. Don't you think an order from a family court judge garnishing wages would be more productive than an order from a criminal court judge incarcerating your ex?

Asker

Posted

Maybe I didn't mention it in my previous posts, or you just didn't read them... 1. I can't afford to retain an attorney. All my extra funds are tied up in our daughter's tuition for nursing school. 2. He owns his own business so although DOR have made attempts to garnish his wages with a IDO, they have been unsuccessful for obvious reasons. All I'm asking is if any professional here has every heard of child support being made a term of one's probation; especially since the reason he violated is because of the DWSL which stemmed from non-payment of the child support. I would seem by the responses here that my question has been answered and that none of you have ever had a criminal case where child support has been made a condition of probation. My question has been answered. And whether he goes back to jail or not I couldn' really care less. He isn't paying the support, so no sweat off my back at all. The occasional payments he makes are just bonus money...extra spending money. Again, just was asking what the procedure is regarding his ciminal issue. As for you offering me free legal advice, several others here said the same thing - hire a family law attorney. That is a no-brainer and if I had an extra $2,000 or $5,000 laying around to retain one, I would. I don't. So again, my questions has been answered. He may very well go back to prison for violating and "no" obeying a court order for child support is not something a judge would make as a term of someone's probation. Thanks for chiming in though. Hey here's a thought. If you know a family law attorney that would take my case on contingency, let me know please. As I said previously, he owns a business, lives in a half million dollar home and has other assets. I just can't seem to get the DOR to suspend his business license or put a lien on the assets. He owes $150,000 so if you know someone that can help me collect some of that, even half of that, I would be happy to pay them a cut!

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