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Does a Child Support modification HAVE to include income deduction language?

Brandon, FL |

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)

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Attorney answers 4


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.


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.



Thank you for your response. No, I have not waived a retroactive date, and it is the very thing that I am trying to fight for. However she says I either sign it as is or we go to court. In the meantime, Child Support Enforcement has begun garnishing wages based on the original child support order, even though I have been paying a reduced amount close to this new agreed upon amount and the children are living with me. I am no longer represented by anyone as I could not continue to afford an attorney. I am eager to get this settled, but feel I would be losing too much by agreeing to the January date. ...but could be losing more in the long run if I don't just agree.

Brenda A Drake

Brenda A Drake


You mean that CSE is garnishing an amount from the original agreement when all three children were living with her? If that amount is higher than what you'd be paying for the new amount, then you can seek a reimbursement of the overage. I think you're going to have to sit down and do the math to answer your own question of whether it it worth it to waive the having the agreement retroactive to the date of filing or to continue to fight this.


If one of the parties wants wage garnishment then the court will order it. Contact my office for free consultation. 727-446-7659.


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.

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