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Florida Woman $24,000 Behind in Child Support

A Florida woman is facing prison time after she admitted to being more than $24,000 behind in child support payments for her two children. Kathleen Zweeres, 37, of Davenport was charged with four counts of nonsupport of dependents and she pled guilty last week to two of those charges. In exchange for the guilty plea, the state agreed to drop the other charges, but Ms. Zweeres claims that this is all a big mistake.

Failure to Pay Child Support

According to the state prosecutors, Ms. Zweeres was given a court order back in 2000 to provide child support to her two children, now who are 17 and 18 years old. One child is considered emancipated, but the other child is still her responsibility to pay for. Unfortunately, between the time period of August 2012 and October 2013 she failed to make a single payment for either child.

As a result, Ms. Zweeres is more than $24,000 in arrears for her child support payments. She claims that the notices to pay were sent to her mother’s home and she never received them. She also claims that the entire situation is “just a big mess up with (the children’s) dad. We kept in contact. He said he was going to drop it and they didn’t need (the support).”

Ms. Zweeres has been ordered back for sentencing in May, but the judge agreed to push it back to August as long as she stays employed and continues to pay off the child support that she owes. If she fails to do so, she faces up to one year in jail for each offense, but the judge could consider a non-prison sanction for her crimes. Referring to the amount as “astronomical,” the judge warned her that there was not much he could do to help her avoid jail.

Florida Child Support Law

Florida law dictates the amount of child support that should be awarded in any divorce in Section 61.30 of the state code. Failure to pay child support comes with a list of penalties that can be imposed against you as the noncustodial parent. The court is allowed to garnish wages, hold a parent in contempt of court, sell assets to pay off payments in arrears, and revoke or withhold certain state licenses like a driver’s, hunting, fishing license, or gun permit.

Besides being held in civil contempt for failure to pay child support, the state can also come after a parent with criminal charges if the amount owed is substantial. Similar to Ms. Zweeres’ case, a parent can face up to one year in jail for each count of failing to pay child support.

Call a Florida Family Law Attorney

If you or someone that you know is facing issues with a failure to pay child support in the Orlando area, let the experienced office of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. help. Call the office or contact us today for a free and confidential review of your case.

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