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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/SB 1532 — Child Support

by Judiciary Committee; Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee; and Senator Book

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee (CF)

The bill makes numerous changes to the Child Support Program, which is administered by the Department of Revenue (DOR), Florida’s Title IV-D agency. As the state’s Title IV-D agency, the DOR is responsible for collecting and enforcing child support. To receive services from the Child Support Program, families either complete an application for services, or are automatically referred because a parent is receiving cash or food assistance.

The bill makes the following changes to the Child Support Program:

  • Specifies that affidavits of default or a default in payments are not required for Title IV-D cases to have accounts established in the Clerk of Court Child Support Collection System, and that Title IV-D payments are processed through the State Disbursement Unit;
  • Amends the statements the DOR is required to certify when requesting a consumer report, to conform to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act;
  • Allows notices relating to consumer reports to be made by regular mail instead of by certified or registered mail;
  • Prohibits the state from treating incarceration as voluntary unemployment when a support order is established or modified, unless limited exceptions apply;
  • Codifies how social security dependent benefits affect the amount of child support ordered; the extent to which the parent receives credit for the benefits; and how a parent obtains credit for dependent benefits;
  • Updates the process for rendering final orders;
  • Authorizes the use of electronic notices of garnishment to consenting institutions;
  • Revises the data exchange process between the DOR and the Department of Financial Services relating to the use of unclaimed property for past due child support;
  • Permits the DOR to transmit confidential and exempt information with limited exception by unencrypted electronic mail to a parent, caregiver, or other person authorized to receive information about DOR services upon his or her consent; and
  • Requires an entity to report to the State Directory of New Hires nonemployees who perform services and are paid $600 or more in a calendar year.

Additionally, the bill expands the authorized topics under the parent education and family stabilization course that is required for parents of minor children seeking a dissolution of marriage. It requires the parents of children with special needs or emotional concerns to select a course that is tailored towards those needs. Moreover, a court may authorize a parent to take an additional course covering those needs, separate from the required parent education and family stabilization course.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect October 1, 2021.

Vote: Senate 39-0; House 117-0