Power to Redirect Child Support Payments

Power to Redirect Child Support Payments

Posted By Owenby Law, P.A. || 23-Nov-2014

Florida law gives the court the authority to redirect child support payments to the person with whom the child resides. This means that if your child is living with a third party, such as a relative, the court can order that payments be directed to that person rather than the non-paying parent. The court can also order both parents to pay support to that third person with whom the child resides.

In 2010, the First District Court of Appeal held that the court has the authority to redirect the father's child support payments from the mother to the grandmother with whom the child resided. See Dept. of Revenue obo Smith v. Selles, 47 So. 3d 916, 921 (1st DCA, 2010). In Smith v. Selles, the mother applied to the Department of Revenue for child support enforcement services and submitted a proposed order requiring the father to pay monthly support to the mother.

Subsequently, the father requested a hearing, which was held before the Administrative Law Judge. Prior to the hearing, both parties submitted financial affidavits. The father wrote on his form that the mother was not the custodial parent and the child had been living with the grandmother.

At the hearing, the court determined that the parties virtually stipulated that the child lived with the grandmother because neither party raised an objection to the father's assertion that the grandmother was caring for the child. In addition, the child's maternal grandmother, testified that the child had been living with her for the past two years. Consequently, the judge ordered that both parents pay child support to the grandmother.

The Department of Revenue, on behalf of the mother, appealed the court's decision requiring both the mother and father to pay child support payments to the child's grandmother. The appellate court held that the administrative law judge lacked jurisdiction to order the mother to pay support, but had the authority to redirect the father's payments to the grandmother.

Although the court in this case lacked jurisdiction to order the mother to pay child support, the court's decision does not preclude such a ruling.

Categories: Family Law
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