What YOU Don't know about the
Florida Child Support System

Florida state seal

The Florida Child Support Department of Revenue has administered the Child Support Enforcement Program since 1994. Department staff provide child support services in all but two Florida counties.


The State Attorney’s Office provides services in Miami-Dade County. The Manatee County Clerk of Court provides services in Manatee County. In successfully trying to collect and enforce child support, The federal government, Florida’s courts, local law enforcement and other institutions provide the following services.

  • The Florida child support department has provided child support services to about a million children, and collected over a billion dollars in child support last year.

Establishing Legal Paternity

This means legally determining the father of a child. If a child's parents were not married to each other when the child was born, the law does not recognize the father unless paternity is legally established. Establishing paternity gives the father and mother legal rights to seek a court order for child support, custody or visitation.

The easiest way to establish paternity is administratively (without going to court). The mother and father sign an affidavit saying the child is theirs. This can be done at the hospital before the baby is discharged or at a local public health unit, the Department of Children and Families office or Child Support Enforcement office. Paternity can also be established by order of the court.

Locating Missing Parents

In order to establish or enforce a child support order, child support must know where to find the parent responsible for support. We will use a variety of local, state and federal resources to search for the missing parent. Florida’s statewide computer system uses other governmental and private databases to obtain and verify information on non-custodial or custodial parents.

The Florida Child Support Agency will get to the bottom of your child support issue! They have a team of professionals who can handle your case from top to bottom. Any custodial parent or caretaker of a dependent child who is not receiving public assistance can apply for Child Support Services. An application fee is not required. If you are owed child support arrearages you may also want to apply for support services too.

You may not need to apply if:

  1. You have received public assistance.
  2. You had child support services in the past.
  3. You currently receive public assistance.
  4. You currently receive child support.

* Families who receive public assistance automatically receive child support services. *

You may apply for child support services if you do not live in the State of Florida. However, you may be required to appear at a hearing in Florida or be required to testify at a designated location in your state at the Court's discretion. Additionally, if neither parent lives in Florida, The Child Support Agency may not have jurisdiction to obtain or enforce a support order.

Child Support Modification

You must have a child support order with The Florida Child Support Agency or you must fill out an application for Child Support Enforcement services in order to file for a modification. Based on Florida Child Support Guidelines, Both the non-custodial parent and custodial parent have the right to request a review for possible increase or decrease of child support. Modifying child support can be done every 3 years or if income changes up to at least 10% or $25 per month (whichever amount is greater).

How does Child Support figure out the amount to be paid to the custodial parent?

The amount of child support is based on these guidelines:

  • The income of both parents
  • The child's health care and child care costs
  • Net income of the both parents

These guidelines are a Florida State Law. The guidelines are standard rules used to figure out the support needed for a child and the amount a parent has to pay. Guidelines help make sure support amounts are fair. These guidelines are used the first time child support is ordered and every time the child support amount changes. They are also used to review the order to see if the support amount should be changed. You should use a Florida Child Support Calculator to estimate your child support amount. It will help you keep track of what you should be paying.

Enforcement Customer Service

Florida's Child Support Enforcement Customer Service:

Can be contacted toll free from 7:00AM to 7:00PM EST, Monday thru Friday. To obtain information about payments and collections, the Department's Automatic Payment Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The State Program Office mailing address is: The Florida Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement, P.O. Box 8030, Tallahassee, FL 32314-8030. Below is a list of customer service telephone numbers.

Contact Information:

Florida (Toll Free) 1-800-622-KIDS (5437)

Automatic Payment Line 1-800-226-677

State Disbursement Unit 1-877-769-0251

Dade County (305) 530-2600

Manatee County (941) 741-4039

Florida Court Forms and Florida's Child Support System
Florida court forms, help and instructions. Florida Family Law, Business, Elder, and Bankruptcy Forms.

Leave florida child support for division of child support enforcement

Leave florida child support for child support home

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave a comment in the box below.