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Does Failure to Pay Child Support Affect My Credit Report?

In a Florida divorce or paternity case, sometimes the person required to pay child support fails to pay. When that happens there are a number of ways to punish the non-paying parent and inspire that parent to resume payments and make up any past missed payments.

In previous blog posts, we have discussed suspension of driver's licenses and suspension of professional licenses as a means of punishing someone for non-payment of child support. Of course, the most direct influence to pay child support is an order of contempt of court and requirement that the non-paying spouse go to jail by a certain date if the arrearages are unpaid.

The Florida Statutes provide that someone who is behind in child support payments may have that reported to a credit reporting agency. It provides that, before reporting it to such an agency, the state would give the delinquent parent notice ahead of time and an opportunity to pay the delinquency current. If it is not then paid current, then the agency of the state which keeps track of child support arrearages is free to notify all credit reporting agencies.

As with any unpaid debt, notification to a credit reporting agency has the effect of changing your credit rating and reducing your chances of obtaining a loan of any kind. Before that happens, you may wish to consult your St. Petersburg divorce lawyer to find out what you can do to avoid the harm you may be causing yourself.

Bottom Line: Failure to pay child support can seriously affect your lifestyle and may affect your freedom and your ability to borrow money.

(copyright Stann Givens 2009)


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Florida requires an equitable distribution of the marital property (what is fair, not necessarily equal). Each spouse keeps the property and debts that belonged to them before the marriage. Each spouse also keeps any property received as a gift or inheritance, or any property that the spouses agree to divide in a written agreement. Any property that was acquired before the spouses married or that was received as a gift or inheritance is not considered marital property. If the spouses cannot come to an agreement, a court will divide the property and the debt.
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