Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Department of Revenue

Child Support Enforcement

What is the purpose of the program?

The purpose of the Child Support Enforcement Program is to administer Florida's child support laws to help ensure that children receive the financial support that they need when it is not received from one or both of their parents.

What services are provided by the program?

The Department of Revenue administers Florida's Child Support Enforcement Program in 65 counties. Activities performed by the program include establishing paternity, obtaining child support orders, enforcing these orders, and receiving and distributing child support payments. The state attorney's office provides services in Miami-Dade County and the county clerk of court provides services in Manatee County.

Why is the state involved in the collection of child support?

The federal government requires each state to operate a child support enforcement program as a condition of receiving the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal block grant. The program collects child support for two groups of families: those who receive public assistance (temporary cash assistance, Medicaid, and food assistance) and those who do not but who ask the state to help collect child support.

What are the benefits of the program?

The involvement of the state in establishing paternity and establishing and collecting child support helps children receive the financial and medical support they need. In addition, the program has a cost benefit to taxpayers. Congress created the federal child support enforcement program in 1975 as an attempt to reduce public expenditures on welfare by obtaining support from noncustodial parents and reducing applications for such assistance. Payments collected can also be used to reimburse the federal and state government for temporary cash assistance funds received by the family. 

How much child support does the program collect?

For federal Fiscal Year 2019-20, the program projects collecting $1.76 billion in child support, which exceeds the approved standard of $1.61 billion. Of the amount collected, the program projects distributing $1.76 billion during the fiscal year.

How are these activities funded?

The program is funded by several sources. Funds to operate the program are received through grants and incentives from the federal government, local governments, fees and expenses collected from individuals served by the program, interest earned on collections, and from the state's general revenue.
Fiscal Year: 2021-22
Fund Salary Rate/ Position General Revenue Trust Funds
SALARY RATE
POSITIONS
SALARIES AND BENEFITS
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT APPLICATION AND PROGRAM REVENUE TRUST FUND
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
OTHER PERSONAL SERVICES
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT APPLICATION AND PROGRAM REVENUE TRUST FUND
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
EXPENSES
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT APPLICATION AND PROGRAM REVENUE TRUST FUND
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
OPERATING CAPITAL OUTLAY
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
TRANSFER GENERAL REVENUE TO CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT ANNUAL FEE
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
PURCHASE OF SERVICES - CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM CHILD SUPPORT INCENTIVE TRUST FUND
FROM CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT APPLICATION AND PROGRAM REVENUE TRUST FUND
FROM CLERK OF THE COURT CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT COLLECTION SYSTEM TRUST FUND
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
RISK MANAGEMENT INSURANCE
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
LEASE OR LEASE-PURCHASE OF EQUIPMENT
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PAYMENTS
CHILD SUPPORT INCENTIVE PAYMENTS - POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS
FROM CHILD SUPPORT INCENTIVE TRUST FUND
DATA PROCESSING SERVICES
DATA PROCESSING ASSESSMENT - DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT SERVICES
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
DATA PROCESSING SERVICES
NORTHWEST REGIONAL DATA CENTER (NWRDC)
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM CHILD SUPPORT INCENTIVE TRUST FUND
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
TOTAL
70,953,118
205,301,151

Updates

Economic Impact Payment Offsets. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, signed into law in March 2021, provides a third round of cash payments, or economic impact payments, to many Americans. Under federal law, these payments are not subject to offset for past-due child support. This means the U.S. Department of the Treasury will not take the amount of past-due support owed from the Economic Impact Payment and send that amount to the Child Support Program. 

Child Support. The 2021 Legislature enacted Chapter 2021-103, Laws of Florida, which makes numerous changes to the Child Support Programs. Among other changes, the bill

  • prohibits the state from treating incarceration as voluntary unemployment when a support order is established or modifies;
  • codifies how social security dependent benefits affect the amount of child support ordered and how a parent receives credit for dependent benefits;
  • updates the process for rendering final orders; and
  • expands the topics under the parent education and family stabilization course that parents of minor children seeking a dissolution of marriage are required to take.  

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

Florida is Generally Following Statutory Child Support Guidelines; Deviations are Limited, Report 17-11, November 2017

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports

Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement and Prior Audit Follow-Up, Florida Auditor General Report 2021-100, January 2021.

Office of Child Support Enforcement Preliminary Report FY 2019, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement, June 2020.
Websites of Interest
Florida Department of Revenue, Child Support Enforcement Customer Service
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement
National Child Support

Performance Information


Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 61 and 409, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Customer Contact Center, 850-488-5437 (all counties except Miami-Dade)
Miami-Dade County 1-305-530-2600
Website