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  • By: Mireya Lacayo, Esq.
  • Published: March 13, 2023
Administrative Support Proceedings – What The Heck Is That?

The Florida Department of Revenue (otherwise known as “DOR”) is authorized to administratively establish child support obligations. The DOR does not have the ability to determine issues related to a divorce, separation, alimony, spousal support, termination of parental rights, dependency, disputed paternity, or change of time-sharing.

What does that mean?

First, it’s important to note that the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) is not the same as the circuit court. These two court systems have concurrent jurisdiction. This means that both court systems may enter court orders related to child support at the same time if there is no existing court order of child support.

This is important to note because the DOR is limited to issues only related to the establishment or modification of child support.

The DOR cannot implement a parenting plan that is not agreed upon by the parties. While the DOR can establish and modify child support, they may not establish a Parenting Plan when the parties cannot agree.

Additionally, the DOR and DOAH cannot enforce a parenting plan, even if it is one that is agreed upon by the Parties.

Initiation Of Administrative Support Proceedings

Have you received a certified letter in the mail titled “NOTICE OF PROCEEDING TO ESTABLISH ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT ORDER” from the Florida Department of Revenue? If so, a proceeding to administratively establish child support has begun. Service of this Notice is established pursuant to § 409.2563(4) Fla. Stat. and does not always require formal service of process.

Opting Out Of The Administrative Support Proceedings

As the obligor, you can opt out of the administrative support proceedings. Upon receipt of the initial Notice of Proceeding to Establish Administrative Support Order, the obligor must 1) request in writing that DOR proceed in circuit court, or 2) state in writing intent to address time sharing and/or parental rights issues in circuit court.

The obligo may also file a support action in circuit court and serve DOR with a copy of the Petition within the same 20-day time frame.

Doing Nothing – Does More Harm Than Good

If you choose to ignore the initial Notice, and any documents thereafter, the DOR may proceed without your participation. If you’ve received a Notice from the Florida Department of Revenue, contact our office right away for assistance.

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