A copy of the payment history can be obtained in the Circuit Civil Court Records area of
the Clerk's Office. Child support related forms approved by the Florida Bar are also available for purchase. Some are available online from the Florida Courts website ,
www.flcourts.org. All written requests
for information are processed in the Circuit Civil Court Records area
of the Clerk's Office, and requests should be forwarded to the Support Section, Room 170, 315 Court Street, Clearwater, FL, 33756.
Service charges established by Florida Statutes may be applicable to
ONLINE HELP WITH COMPLETING LANDLORD/TENANT, DIVORCE &/OR SMALL CLAIMS FORMS
The Clerk's Self Help Center for affordable legal services offers limited attorney
consultations to pro se or
self-represented litigants (i.e. those people who do not plan to have an attorney represent them in court).
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What determines the amount of child support ordered by the court?
- Can the child support amount ever change?
- Will the child support payments be paid directly to the custodial parent?
- What enforcement is available through the Clerk of the Court?
- I have made payments direct to the Petitioner,
how can I obtain a credit on my support account?
- How do I satisfy a Judgment by Operation of Law?
Q: What determines the amount of child support ordered by the court?
A: Child Support is defined as money paid from
one parent to the other for the benefit of their dependent or minor
child(ren). (Family Law Rules, Florida Rules of Court 2000) In Florida, the amount of child support is
governed by the guidelines established by Florida Statutes.
A Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, available
from the State Court's web site or in the Clerk's
Office as part of a pro se package of forms, will show you and the
Court how the facts you have fit into Florida's child support law.
The worksheet is based on monthly paychecks and bills. To convert
hourly or weekly payments to monthly, follow the FORMULA shown.
The child support guidelines establish the basic child
support obligation for parents whose combined net income is
between $7,800 and $120,000 annually. If the parents' combined
income is more than $120,000 annually, a formula is provided for
the Court to establish support beyond the guidelines amount. If
the combined parents' income is below $7,800, the Court determines
the child support on a case-by-case basis.
THE CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES ARE BASED ON:
The child support guidelines dollar amount is
based on the number of children and the combined income of the parents.
The child support obligation is divided between the parents in direct
proportion to their income or earning capacity. The parent with whom
the child lives most of the time (the "custodial" parent) is paid the
established support by the other ("non-custodial") parent.
The Court, at its discretion, may increase or decrease the guidelines
dollar amount by up to 5% (five percent). The child support guidelines dollar amount
may be increased or decreased by more than 5% (five percent) if the Court agrees with
written reasons given for the change.
Q: Can the child support amount ever change?
A: Yes, child support can be modified by the Court
if there is a substantial change in the circumstances of the family.
If there is a change of 15% (fifteen percent) or $50.00 (fifty dollars), whichever is greater, in the
child support guidelines, that may be reason for modifying child
Q: Will the child support payments be paid directly to the custodial parent?
A: After the Court has decided the dollar amount of the child
support to be paid, a decision will be made by the Court as to
whether payments should be made directly to you or collected and
disbursed to you through the State of Florida Disbursement Unit
(FLSDU). The Court will also order how the child support payments
are to be made - through an Income Deduction Order (IDO) or direct
According to Florida Statute 61.13,
if the parties elect not to require that support payments be made through the depository,
any party may subsequently file an
affidavit with the depository alleging a default in payment of child support and stating that the party wishes
to require that payments be made through the depository. The party shall provide copies of the affidavit to the court and to
each other party. Fifteen days after receipt of the affidavit, the depository shall notify both parties that future
payments shall be paid through the depository.
Q: What enforcement is available through the Clerk of the Court?
A: The Clerk of the Court can enforce Child Support in the following ways:
Notice of Delinquency resulting in Judgment by Operation of Law: Fifteen (15) days after a case becomes delinquent according to
the Clerk sends the Obligor (also referred to as
"payor" or "respondent") a notice of delinquency to the address of record. The Obligor has fifteen (15) days
to make payment in full or file a motion to contest.
1. Payment in full must include fees listed on notice.
2. Motion to Contest.
Upon receipt of a motion to contest
the Clerk will schedule a hearing and send out notices for the hearing date and time to the Obligor and Obligee (also referred to as "payee" or "petitioner").
After the hearing an order is issued
3. If payment or Motion is not received within the fifteen (15) days, a Judgment by Operation of Law is filed.
This will cause the
support records to accrue interest on arrears balances. Interest is established at the rate for that year by the
Florida Department of Financial Services (Office of the Chief Financial Officer of Florida).
Driver's License Suspension for Child Support Only and Non-IV-D Cases (only for cases not enforced by
the Department of Revenue Child Support).
1. Upon written request from the Obligee the Clerk will verify delinquency on account and
send a Notice of Intent to Suspend to the Obligor. Notice is sent by regular mail that is posted to the Obligor's last
address of record with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as provided under
2. The Obligor may do one of the following:
- Make the payment of delinquency in full to the Clerk of Court
- Enter into a written agreement with the Obligee and provide the
signed, written agreement to the Clerk for filing, or
- File a Motion/petition to Contest
the delinquency. Upon receipt of the motion and a $32.00 fee, the Clerk will schedule a hearing and send notice of the hearing date and time to both parties.
motion/unsigned order is received by Clerk
the documents will be forwarded to the judge assigned to your case for review.
Q: I have made payments direct to the Petitioner,
how can I obtain a credit on my support account?
Q: How do I satisfy a Judgment by Operation of Law?
A: You can satisfy a Judgment by Operation of Law by:
- Request a Lien Payoff from the Clerk (Current cost as of May 2007 is $25.00 plus a self-addressed envelope for return.)
The Clerk will audit the account and prepare a payoff statement, which will be valid for thirty (30) days. Please allow 7 to 10 days for
processing. Upon receipt of
payment the Clerk will prepare a Satisfaction.
- A court order instructing the Clerk to issue a Satisfaction. Fees for processing are still due.
- The Obligee may request a partial release for a certain legal description from the Clerk. Upon receipt of the
request, a partial release is prepared and recorded. Fees are required for processing.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA DISBURSEMENT UNIT
The State of Florida Disbursement Unit (FLSDU)
was established by the Title IV-D agency to provide one central
address for the collection and disbursement of child support payments
in cases enforced by the Department of Revenue pursuant to Title IV-D
of the Social Security Act. Support orders initially issued in Florida
after January 1, 1994, in which the obligor's child support is being
paid through an Income Deduction Order (IDO) are also collected and
disbursed by the FLSDU. The Clerk of the Circuit Court for Pinellas
County has contracted with the FLSDU to process all court ordered
child support and alimony payments.
CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS HAVE TO BE PAID THROUGH THE FLSDU, SHOULD BE SENT TO:
State of Florida Disbursement Unit
P.O. Box 8500
Tallahassee, FL 32314-8500
The payment to the State of Florida Disbursement Unit should include:
- Your full name (first, middle and last)
- Your Social Security Number
- the case number
- the county code for the county where the court order was entered.
The county code for Pinellas County is "52".
THE FLSDU SEND OUT THE CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENT.
The FLSDU is required to disburse child support payments within 48 hours of receipt. If the Court has ordered child support payments to be paid through the FLSDU directly to you, you may wish to expedite receipt of the payment through the use of DIRECT DEPOSIT.
TO FIND OUT IF THE CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENT HAS BEEN RECEIVED OR
SENT OUT BY THE FLSDU:
Click here to view your most recent payment or you may call toll-free 1(877) 769-0251, 24 hours-a-day to find out if a payment has been received or disbursed by the FLSDU. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and case number. If you are a payor, the voice response unit provides information on the last payment received. If you are a payee, the voice response unit provides information on the last payment issued to you. Be sure to have the case number when calling this number.