What is child support?
Child Support is money paid from one parent to the other for the benefit of their children.
Who is the obligor?
The obligor is the parent that is
ordered to pay child support.
Who is the obligee?
obligee is the parent that receives child support. A person whose duty it is to safeguard and account for that which is given into his custody.
What is the Florida State Disbursement Unit (SDU)?
The Florida State Disbursement Unit (SDU) is required by Federal Law to collect and disburse child support payments ordered by the court.
The State of Florida Disbursement Unit was established pursuant to Florida Statutes, s. 61.1824 and the Federal Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1999 (commonly known as the Welfare Reform Act). Also, pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, the SDU provides one central address for the collection and disbursement of child support payments in cases enforced by the Department of Revenue.
In Florida, cases with an initial support order issued on or after January 1, 1994, in which the obligor's child support is being paid through an Income Deduction Order are also collected and disbursed by the SDU.
The Clerk's Office is still responsible for collecting and disbursing some child support payments. Even with the SDU processing most payments, the Clerk's Office is still the "Official Record Keeper", maintaining all child support records.
What is an Income Deduction Order (IDO? (FL Statute 61.1301)
A court order that instructs the
obligor's employer to withhold the child support payment from the obligor's income and send it to the SDU.
When will my employer start making payments through the SDU?
Based on your Income Deduction Order, your employer must initiate payment within 15 business days after the employer received the Notice to Payor. You are responsible for any payments that come due prior to income deduction.
Do I have to pay a fee to the Clerk & Comptroller with each payment?
You will have to pay a Clerk & Comptroller fee with each payment if your child support is paid to the Clerk & Comptroller per court order. The fee is four percent (4%) of the payment, or a minimum of $1.00 or a maximum of $5.25.
Private cases, or cases that do not involve the Department of Revenue, will pay
this fee. Other fees may be applicable if the child support account becomes delinquent.
Who will maintain the records and payment history for my case?
The Clerk & Comptroller (in the county where you filed your case) is the "Official Record Keeper" and is responsible for:
If you are not ordered to pay through the Clerk's office or the State
Disbursement Unit, you must pay the other party directly. You are responsible for maintaining your records.
- Initially setting up the child support case
- Maintaining a written record of all Court hearings
- Tracking the late payments (if payment are made through the court by order of the court)
- Collecting and disbursing child support payments if the payments are made through the court by order of the court.
How do I get help when I am not receiving court ordered child support?
- Call the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) Child Support Services at 800-622-5437 if DOR is involved in your case.
- Visit the Clerk & Comptroller's office to file motions for contempt, enforcement, etc. Call 850-595-3780 to find out which office to visit.
- Consult with an attorney for legal advice.
How to enforce Child Support payments?
The Clerk's Office has very little power when it comes to child support enforcement. The Clerk's Office will file a judgment against a respondent if the account becomes delinquent. The judgment becomes a lien against any real property owned by the individual.
In private child support cases, upon the request of the obligee, the Clerk's Office will initiate an action to suspend the driver's license privileges and motor vehicle registration of delinquent obligors.
The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) Child Support Services has an agency specifically for child support enforcement. They are located in Escambia County Florida at 3670-B North L. Street, Pensacola, FL 32505 (map), telephone 800-622-5437.
Your personal attorney can enforce your child support rights as well.
Method of Payment?
- If your court order states that child support is paid through the Central Government Depository (Clerk's Offices), you must comply with that order.
Mail your payments to: The Honorable Pam Childers, Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller, 1800 St. Mary Avenue, Pensacola, FL 32501
- If your court order states that your child support is paid through the Florida State Disbursement Unit (FL SDU), mail your check to: State of Florida Disbursement Unit, P. O. Box 8500, Tallahassee, FL 32314-8500
- Online at the MyFloridaCounty.com Online Child Support Services , using a credit or debit card or setting up an automatic electronic transfer from your bank.
- Have your payments deducted from your paycheck through an Income Deduction Order.
- Make payment directly to the custodial parent (if stated by the court order).
If you would like to inquire as to the date the last payment was made and the amount of the payment, we now have a 24hour automated Support Information System to assist you. You can access your case payment information by using a touch-tone telephone. The phone number for accessing the automated system is 850-595-3043 (area code 850 required if long distance). You must have your case number and social security number available. The automated attendant will instruct you as to how to input your information.
You may search online at MyFloridaCounty.com Online Child Support Services or contact the SDU at 877-769-0251
Payment Reduction or Increase?
Florida law states that child support can be reduced or increased if substantial change has occurred. This change may occur by either the respondent or the petitioner. A hearing must be held and an order obtained for a modification. All pleadings must be filed in accordance with the
Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure.
Receipt of Payment?
If your child support payments come through the Escambia County Clerk's Office and if the payment contains all of the necessary information on the check or money order, then the payment is normally processed the day it is received and no later than the next business day.
A child support check is printed by the Clerk's Office on the following business day and is mailed in the afternoon mail.
your support payments come through the Florida State Disbursement Unit, the payments are sent to their collection unit in Tallahassee Florida. The DOR/CSE office will then follow their procedures for disbursing payments.
How can I get credit for child support payments made directly to the recipient?
You may file a Request for Credit for Direct Payments of Child Support. Instruction and forms are available at the Clerk & Comptroller's office or online
under Family Law Forms. Please note that you are only allowed to make this request one time. If you wish to continue paying directly to the other party, you will need to file a Motion to Modify the Final Judgment and have a hearing before the Court.
It is important that both parties stay informed about their child support account in order to avoid delinquencies or over payments.
Can I make my support payments in Escambia County if my child support case is located in another county?
Support payments may only be made in the county where the support case is located. If you live in Escambia County, but your case is located in another county, you must send your payment to the county where your case is located. You may request an Income Deduction Order for your payments to automatically be sent to the State Disbursement Unit.
How can I have my payment deposited into my bank account?
If you receive your services through the Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement, and your payments come through their office, contact DOR at 1-800-622-5437 for direct deposit information.
For all other payments, contact the Domestic Relations Division of the Clerk's office to arrange for direct deposit.