What If I Overpay My Child Support in Florida?

By Jonita Davis

Updated November 15, 2017

In Florida, child support payments are determined by your income, the number of children entitled to receive support and other factors. Failure to make these payments result in garnishment of your paycheck or tax refund until the delinquent payments is completed. However, overpayments may occur if you make payments to the parent receiving the support that they are not entitled to. This is the definition of a child support overpayment under the Florida State Legal Code.

Notification From the State

The state will contact the receiving parent and inform him of the overpayment. That parent is obligated to pay back the excess child support, overpayment. The state also notifies the Department of Children and Families of the overpayment as well. The receiving parent may find their benefits reduced because of the excess income in the form of an overpayment. The state will give a time frame during which the overpayment should be given back to you.

Methods of Payment

Depending on the amount of the overpayment, the overpayment may be repaid in one large amount or in payments. The state of Florida may also withhold a portion of the regular payments until the overpayment amount is recouped. It will then be sent back to you. This is also done if the parent receiving the overpayment fails to make arrangements in order to repay the excess amount. Involuntarily withheld payments of 25 percent of the regular payment will occur.

Keeping Up to Date

The state will send you notification every step of the way. After notification of the overpayment, you will receive update on the repayment status. When a lump-sum payment or installment is arranged, you will receive a letter outlining the details. You will receive the overpayment back once it has been processed through the state’s child support enforcement agency.

Things to Consider

The time period from notification to receiving the check in the mail will vary from one case to another. It will depend on the type of payment made, the circumstances that led to the overpayment (Internal Revenue Service involvement may cause further delay, for example) and the amount of the overpayment.

Failure to Pay

The overpayment will be pursued even after your child support obligations end. Florida’s child support enforcement agencies will pursue the payment through collections, withholding of support payments and even judgments against the person receiving the overpayment. The state will give ample opportunity to respond the to overpayment, however. There will be three notices, each containing information on contesting the overpayment and a form for working out a payment arrangement.