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Child/Spousal (Alimony) Support FAQs

I cannot pay my child support payments, because the payments are too high/I am disabled/I'm out of work/the child is deceased/the child is living with me. What can I do?

First, try to resolve the issue in mediation. Mediation is a required step. If mediation is unsuccessful, you must file a Supplemental Petition for Modification of Child Support specifically asking the court what it is that you want and why. The petition and current financial affidavits must be personally served to the other party. A Modification of Child Support packet can be purchased in the Court Business Center/Copy Center, Room 630 of the Edgecomb Courthouse or you may access the form online.  

My Ex is not paying the court-ordered support. May I speak with the judge to explain the situation?

You may not speak to the Judge or General Master unless you have filed a written motion and properly scheduled a hearing with notice to all parties. The first step is to try to resolve your issues in mediation. If that is not successful then you may purchase a Motion for Contempt/Enforcement packet in the Court Business Center/Copy Center, Room 630 of the Edgecomb Courthouse or you may access the form online.

I want to get child support for my child. The father of my child won't give me any money. What can I do?

You may contact the Department of Revenue (DOR) (Child Support Enforcement) office to ask them about contracting with them to get support. If you do not contract with DOR, you may purchase a Paternity packet in the Court Business Center/Copy Center, Room 630 of the Edgecomb Courthouse or you may access the form online and petition the court to establish paternity and order child support.  

I just got a letter saying that I am delinquent on my child support and they are going to enter a judgment against me and/or suspend my license. What can I do?

As it states in your letter you must pay the delinquent amount, file a notarized written agreement signed by both parties, or file a motion or a petition to contest the delinquency (if you do not agree that there is one). Forms and instructions may be accessed online.  

I want to increase the amount of child support I am getting from my Ex. My child support order was done a long time ago. How do I do that?

Your first step is to attempt mediation to see if both parties can come to an agreement in regards to raising the amount of child support. Mediation is required in all post-judgment cases. If you cannot come to an agreement or the other party does not attend, then you may obtain a Petition to Modify Child Support packet and have the other party served. You may purchase the packet in the Court Business Center/Copy Center, Room 630 of the Edgecomb Courthouse or may access the form online.  

I want to set a court date to get my support raised because I know my spouse will not attempt mediation. Why can’t I just set a court date?

Mediation is a required step in all cases where parties are not in agreement. You must attempt to bring the other party in your case to mediation before a General Master or Judge will hear your case.

I would like to petition the court for spousal support/alimony, how do I do that?

Spousal support/alimony can be addressed in your dissolution of marriage petition if you are filing for dissolution of marriage.

These forms are confusing. I don't understand some of the words. Can someone help me fill them out?

If you need assistance filling out a form you may want to visit the Legal Information Center located in Room 203 of the Edgecomb Courthouse. The Legal Information Center is a free program to provide information to people who are representing themselves in family law, landlord/tenant, or small claims cases in Hillsborough County. For Further information regarding the Legal Information Center please go to the Legal Information Center. If you do not understand any forms or procedures in your case, it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of an attorney.

How do I know which General Magistrate or Hearing Officer my case is assigned to?

Please view the General Magistrate / Hearing Officer Division Referral Assignment Table by clicking this link.