Martin County Father Prosecuted for Failure to Pay Child Support

A Martin County father was recently placed on probation after pleading no contest to violating a little-known Florida law designed to ensure parents meet their child support obligations. According to a Martin County Court Clerk, the 34-year-old father was the first person in the county arrested under the law established to punish allegedly deadbeat parents. In addition to sentencing him to five years of probation, Circuit Judge William Roby also ordered the man to regularly pay the $550 per month in child support for his two children that was previously ordered by a family court judge and $69,542.88 in back child support and interest that has accumulated throughout his years of non-payment. Additionally, Judge Roby ordered him to perform 25 hours per week of community service throughout the period of his probation, pay $415 in court costs, and promptly notify the court of any changes in his employment status.

The case against this individual was filed after his ex-wife told local authorities about the little-known law. She reportedly grew weary of the man’s failure to pay his family court ordered child support. Instead, she produced contempt of court orders against him and asked Martin County authorities to prosecute her ex-husband using the third-degree felony statute. Apparently, only two other individuals in Florida have faced the same charge during the last decade.

The man in this case reportedly told Judge Roby he failed to pay his support obligations because he could no longer afford the payments due to a bad economy and the loss of his business. According to this father, his previous efforts to reduce the child support payments were denied. Assistant State Attorney Erin Kirkwood responded to these claims by stating a family court determined the man was able, but unwilling to meet his child support obligations. Although she attended the hearing, his ex-wife reportedly made no comments.

In the State of Florida, parents must provide financial support for their children. A child support award is determined using established statutory guidelines that take into account the costs of medical care, dental care, day care, and the amount of time each parent spends with a child pursuant to a child’s time sharing plan. If a parent voluntarily becomes unemployed or under-employed, a family court may choose to make an award of child support based on imputed income. Imputed income is normally established by examining a parent’s past employment record, job qualifications, and the local pay rate where the paying parent resides.

Call Attorney Sandy T. Fox toll free at (800) 596-0579 at if you are a Florida parent with child support concerns. Mr. Fox is a dedicated South Florida family law attorney. Because he understands the importance of family, Sandy T. Fox focuses his law practice exclusively on family law matters. Mr. Fox is available to meet with you to discuss your rights as a parent and help you file your child support case. He is also ready and willing to assist clients in South Florida with their divorce, alimony, paternity, adoption, child custody, and parenting coordination matters. If you would like to modify or enforce your child support order, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Sandy T. Fox through the firm’s website.

More Blog Posts:

Vacation Schedules are Important for Divorced Parents in Florida, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, July 20, 2012
Fisher Island Father Jailed for Contempt in Miami-Dade After He Allows His 16-Year-Old Son to Marry, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, July 13, 2012
Additional Resources:

South Florida father forced to pay child support under rarely used law, by Paul Ivice,