Are you Paying Child Support?

Important Information for the parent who is or may be paying child support in cases where the Florida Department of Revenue is involved pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act (42 USC §§ 651, et. seq.)

The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) is the state agency responsible for collecting and enforcing child support. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) represents the Florida Department of Revenue in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. In Manatee County, the Clerk of Court supplies attorneys for DOR. These attorneys help the DOR fulfill its statutory requirement to ensure that the children in the state of Florida are maintained from the resources of their parents to the fullest extent possible. These attorneys do not represent parents receiving or attempting to modify child support directly, but they represent the DOR in establishing, enforcing, or modifying child support. By law, the attorney representing the DOR does not represent or help any parent in the action.

It is important that you keep your own record of payments, correspondence, court documents and orders. Child support agencies and the courts handle thousands of cases each year. For the most part they are efficient. However the system does not operate flawlessly. Mistakes do happen. The file you keep may be more accurate that the government’s. It will save considerable time, stress, and anxiety if you keep your child support file complete, updated and organized; and always bring it to court with you.

When you talk to anyone associated with the court or state agencies regarding child support matters keep a written record of the date, the name of the person with whom you spoke, the number you called, and a summary of what was said. Having a detailed record will be helpful to you on the day you are scheduled to appear in court.

READ ALL COURT ORDERS AND GOVERNMENT SUPPORT LETTERS FROM BEGINNING TO END. Do this no matter how boring, full of legalese, or lengthy they are. The devil is in the details. Many parents paying support have suffered serious penalties, including arrest, because they did not carefully read, study and follow court orders or letters received from child support enforcement agencies.

The following are frequently asked questions. The answers are general and simplified. Consultation with an attorney to review the facts of your particular situation is strongly recommended.

If you have tried but failed to get an attorney’s help, contact the Florida Bar Lawyer Referral Service to submit a request online or call 800-342-8011. For a $25 fee you can obtain a brief consultation with a local lawyer who practices family law. At that time you can ask questions, talk about what papers you need to file, and get advice about how to proceed on your own should you choose to do so.

U.S. mail is the approved way lawyers and the courts are required to inform you of case activity. Letters, court documents and notice of subsequent hearings regarding your child support obligation will be mailed to the address in your order or to the last address you provided the court and DOR. If mail is returned undelivered, by default and by law you might be bound to court action which you may not know about, increasing your support obligation or even leading to a erroneous arrest.

The clerk in the county where your case is located has a Family Law Case History of payments. You may request a copy from the clerk and check it against your cancelled checks or payment receipts. You are responsible for keeping accurate records.

Important Recources

Clerk of Court
  • Sarasota: (941) 861-7400
  • Manatee: (941) 749-1800
  • DeSoto: (863) 993-4876
Child Support Enforcement

Department of Revenue
Child Support Customer Service

  • Phone: (850) 488-KIDS (5437)

DOR Sarasota Office

  • Address:100 Paramount Drive, Suite 100
    Sarasota, FL 34232

Manatee County Child Support Office

  • Address: 1115 Manatee Avenue West
    Bradenton, FL 34205

DeSoto County Child Support Office

  • Address: 10 South DeSoto Avenue, Suite D
    Arcadia, FL 34266-3963
Child Support Websites