My child's father and I are thinking about moving in together. He is currently ordered to pay child support. If we do move in together, what actions do we need to take to stop child support and back child support in Florida? Is it possible to stop back child support or will they still order him to pay this debt? In case it is pertinent information, my child and I currently receive government assistance. Do we need a lawyer to stop child support or is it something we can do ourselves?
You are not going to be able to stop the back child support. You may be able to stop the ongoing child support by filing a modification and notifying the court that you are now living together. However, be advised that you will also have to notify your government assistance providers (food stamps, TANF, etc) that the composition of your household has changed, and it may change the amount of benefits you receive. Because his income would be counted as household income, which is why he would be allowed to stop paying you support through the courts. Then if you split up, you would have to reapply for everything again. But if he moves in and you don't notify government assistance about the change in your circumstances and keep receiving benefits, you could be guilty of fraud.
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Depending on the government assistance you receive, you may not be able to stop the current child support because the government may have what is called a "subrogation right" to your child support. So, even if you ask the Court to stop it, you cannot do this because the right belongs to the State of Florida. On the past child support you may be able to erase part of it which may belong to you. However, if part of the arrears (or the whole arrears) belong to the State of Florida you will not be able to erase his debt since he has to pay it back to the State of Florida and they will not budge on the amount (I used to work for them, so I know).
This is not something you want to do yourselves. I have seen people go by themselves and/or through paralegals and, even have the Courts approve what they want, to then have the State of Florida's Department of Revenue's Child Support Enforcement come back and erase all of the legal work because the child support and the child support arrears belonged to them. They are an integral part to your modification or abatement case and you should seek competent legal counsel to help you with this.
Alejandro R. Lopez, Esq.
Law Office of Alejandro R. Lopez, P.A.
4465 Edgewater Dr.,
Orlando, Fla. 32804
Ph.: (407) 649-1404
E-mail: [email protected]
you can prepare a stipulation to terminate child support if you reside together. If Department of Revenue is on the case then you still owe the back child support and your request to stop the child support has to involve DOR and needs to be approved by the court.
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