Statute of Limitations for child support in Florida

This is a discussion on Statute of Limitations for child support in Florida within the Child Custody & Support forum, part of the FAMILY LAW, DIVORCE, CUSTODY category; Our father abandoned my sister and me in 1971. He filed for a divorce from our mother in 1972. As ...

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Old Nov 13th, 2012, 08:00 PM   #1
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Our father abandoned my sister and me in 1971. He filed for a divorce from our mother in 1972. As part of the divorce decree, filed in Broward County Florida, he agreed to pay X number of dollars per month for child support.He made one payment and disappeared. We Have just recently located him and still, he has nothing to do with us. My sister, my mother and I reside in Alabama and our Dead beat father resides Arkansas. Alabama has told us to contact Florida because it is outside the Statute in Alabama. I called Florida and they told me that they have no Idea what their statute reads and that we would need to seek legal advice. I have read that seeking legal help for child support cases is a waste of money because every state has the ability to file and claim and that other than the time it takes it is a cut and dry process. Either NCP has paid or has not. Is there a statute of Limitation regarding this matter and if not what should be our next step? Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old Nov 13th, 2012, 08:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Statute of Limitations for child support in Florida

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Our father abandoned my sister and me in 1971. He filed for a divorce from our mother in 1972. As part of the divorce decree, filed in Broward County Florida, he agreed to pay X number of dollars per month for child support.He made one payment and disappeared. We Have just recently located him and still, he has nothing to do with us. My sister, my mother and I reside in Alabama and our Dead beat father resides Arkansas. Alabama has told us to contact Florida because it is outside the Statute in Alabama. I called Florida and they told me that they have no Idea what their statute reads and that we would need to seek legal advice. I have read that seeking legal help for child support cases is a waste of money because every state has the ability to file and claim and that other than the time it takes it is a cut and dry process. Either NCP has paid or has not. Is there a statute of Limitation regarding this matter and if not what should be our next step? Any help is greatly appreciated.
There is no statute of limitations for collecting child support arrears in Florida.

If you want to collect the outstanding amounts, then you should seek the assistance of a private support collection agency to help you collect.
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Old Nov 13th, 2012, 10:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Statute of Limitations for child support in Florida

Thank you for your response sandyclause. Pardon my ignorance but when you say private support collection agency you are referring to what? An attorney or private profit/nonprofit organization or....??? Once again thanks
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Old Nov 13th, 2012, 10:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Statute of Limitations for child support in Florida

There are professional collection agencies that go after support arrears for a high percentage.

Google "child support collection agency"
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 12:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Statute of Limitations for child support in Florida

Private agencies first require you to apply for services through the state IV-D agency then they take a percentage of every payment. Also they are not able to intercept IRS refunds. Only the state agency can.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 12:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Statute of Limitations for child support in Florida

There is no statute of limitation in Florida to enforce a child-support order. However, in the case of claims that are carried out many years after the child was afforded the right to support, laches could apply. A lache means that the person is no longer entitled to the original claim because the party has “slept on its rights. According to Support Collectors, enforcement measures can be taken by the state of Florida or federal authorities to collect regular or past-due child support payments. In most cases, child support ends once a child turns 18. In cases where the child suffers from a mental or physical disability, child support can continue beyond that age.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 01:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Statute of Limitations for child support in Florida

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Originally Posted by manning View Post
Our father abandoned my sister and me in 1971. He filed for a divorce from our mother in 1972. As part of the divorce decree, filed in Broward County Florida, he agreed to pay X number of dollars per month for child support.He made one payment and disappeared. We Have just recently located him and still, he has nothing to do with us. My sister, my mother and I reside in Alabama and our Dead beat father resides Arkansas. Alabama has told us to contact Florida because it is outside the Statute in Alabama. I called Florida and they told me that they have no Idea what their statute reads and that we would need to seek legal advice. I have read that seeking legal help for child support cases is a waste of money because every state has the ability to file and claim and that other than the time it takes it is a cut and dry process. Either NCP has paid or has not. Is there a statute of Limitation regarding this matter and if not what should be our next step? Any help is greatly appreciated.
There is no statute of limitations for delinquent child support and, further, when one flees a state to avoid paying their debts that tolls the statute in all case.

Forget the advice you have been getting from friends and laymen and seek advice of an experienced family law attorney. Maybe more than one to get a good take on your chances of collecting. That is the big issue: How deep are your father's pockets now? Does he own real estate? Luxury items like boats? Have a good paying job?
Those are the things any lawyer will ask before taking on a case: How deep are the defendant's pockets? Can you collect if you get a judgment.

The state files a claim if the state provided services, like medicaid, TANF (welfare) funds. The amount may be significant -- or not. You could begin by contacting the Florida State Attorney General's Office, Support Enforcement to see if their records go back far enough to see if a case was ever opened on your family. Then you may be able to get the total paid in support and, if any amounts owed by him, just how much.
THen you will have some hard facts to begin your calculations so you can weigh whether it is advantageous to go after the back support or not.

That would be a good place to start.

Over forty years have elapsed. One thing to keep in mind, delinquent child support is a lien on the deceased's estate. So get your figures, first, is my recommendation --from the state against what is owed in total. Then you can decide where to go from there.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Statute of Limitations for child support in Florida

The IV-D agency in Florida is through the Dept of Revenue, not the OAG.
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Old Nov 14th, 2012, 09:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Statute of Limitations for child support in Florida

Thanks everyone for your time and input. I called Florida's DOR and they said that I needed to contact the Broward county Clerk of Courts because that is where the divorce decree was filed. I was unable to speak with anyone but I think that after getting the run around I was finally able to leave message to the correct person. Thanks!
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 07:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Statute of Limitations for child support in Florida

I realize they probably have a heavy work load but their recording assures a return phone call within 48 hrs. It has been a week and I have made two calls to broward county clerk of courts but no return call. Who do I call to light a fire under their tales. Thanks.
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