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Paul E. Riffel Tampa Estate Planning Attorney

Child support and alimony payments

There are three ways in which you can pay child support or alimony to an ex-spouse.

First, you can make a direct payment to your ex-spouse. The benefits for this method are that it gets the money quickly from one spouse to the other and there are no fees associated with this transfer. Many people do it by bank debit transfer. The drawback is that it is difficult to prove a payment was either made or not made. Therefore, if payment might be an issue, this is not the method to use.

The second method is to make the payments directly to the Clerk of Circuit Court. These payments are sent to the State Disbursement Unit in Tallahassee and can be made directly by the ex-spouse. The benefit to this method is that there is a record of payment that can be utilized by either party in any enforcement action. The con would be that there is a fee of approximately $5.25 for every payment made to the Clerk of Court. If the payments are made weekly, that amount can add up. Therefore, some people make payments once a month when using this method.

The final way is to have the payments deducted or garnished from the payor’s wages. This is accomplished through an Income Withholding Order, which is entered by the court and sent to the payor’s employer. The employer then deducts the child support or alimony payment from the payor’s wages and sends that directly to the State Disbursement Unit. This method is generally utilized when payments might be an issue.

The payee can have money that has been sent to the State Disbursement Unit moved directly to their checking account by simply going online and signing up for such a service. This will cut down on the time between one party making the payment and the other receiving the payment.

You should discuss these matters with your attorney when determining which method might be most appropriate for you.

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