If you find yourself in the middle of the divorce process and expect to owe child support or have made support payments for many years, it is critical to have a clear understanding of the penalties that could come up if you fall behind on these obligations. In Florida, the state could impose a number of penalties if you do not pay child support in accordance with the court order, from license revocation to the possibility of jail time.
In addition, it is vital to understand that failure to pay child support can become a felony.
Back child support can lead to felony charges
The United States Department of Justice provides examples of situations in which failing to pay child support turns into a felony. For example, if a non-custodial parent willfully fails to make court-ordered child support payments and their kid lives in a different state, owes more than $5,000 in back child support or owes more than one year of back child support, they could face prosecution at the federal level.
Furthermore, those who owe over $5,000 in unpaid child support or have more than one year of unpaid support could face felony charges if they leave the state or country to avoid child support obligations.
The consequences of federal child support charges
If you owe over $5,000 in unpaid child support or have more than one year of back child support and face federal prosecution, you could spend up to six months behind bars. However, this increases to the possibility of a two-year sentence if you owe more than $10,000 in back support or have over two years of unpaid child support.
This highlights how crucial it is to stay current on child support and avoid consequences at the state and federal levels, even if you live in a different state.