Section 61.181, Florida Statutes

Depository for alimony transactions, support, maintenance, and support payments; fees.—

(1)

(a)The office of the clerk of the court shall operate a depository unless the depository is otherwise created by special act of the Legislature or unless, prior to June 1, 1985, a different entity was established to perform such functions. The department shall, no later than July 1, 1998, extend participation in the federal child support cost reimbursement program to the central depository in each county, to the maximum extent possible under existing federal law. The depository shall receive reimbursement for services provided under a cooperative agreement with the department pursuant to s. 61.1826. Each depository shall participate in the State Disbursement Unit and shall implement all statutory and contractual duties imposed on the State Disbursement Unit. Each depository shall receive from and transmit to the State Disbursement Unit required data through the Clerk of Court Child Support Enforcement Collection System. Payments on non-Title IV-D cases without income deduction orders shall not be sent to the State Disbursement Unit.

(b)Upon request by the department, the depository created pursuant to paragraph (a) shall establish an account for the receipt and disbursement of support payments for Title IV-D interstate cases. The department shall provide a copy of the other state’s order with the request, and the depository shall advise the department of the account number in writing within 4 business days after receipt of the request.

(2)

(a)For payments not required to be processed through the State Disbursement Unit, the depository shall impose and collect a fee on each payment made for receiving, recording, reporting, disbursing, monitoring, or handling alimony or child support payments as required under this section. For non-Title IV-D cases required to be processed by the State Disbursement Unit pursuant to this chapter, the State Disbursement Unit shall, on each payment received, collect a fee, and shall transmit to the depository in which the case is located 40 percent of such service charge for the depository’s administration, management, and maintenance of such case. If a payment is made to the State Disbursement Unit which is not accompanied by the required fee, the State Disbursement Unit shall not deduct any moneys from the support payment for payment of the fee. The fee shall be a flat fee based, to the extent practicable, upon estimated reasonable costs of operation. The fee shall be reduced in any case in which the fixed fee results in a charge to any party of an amount greater than 3 percent of the amount of any support payment made in satisfaction of the amount which the party is obligated to pay, except that no fee shall be less than $1 nor more than $5 per payment made. The fee shall be considered by the court in determining the amount of support that the obligor is, or may be, required to pay.

(b)

1.The fee imposed in paragraph (a) shall be increased to 4 percent of the support payments which the party is obligated to pay, except that no fee shall be more than $5.25. The fee shall be considered by the court in determining the amount of support that the obligor is, or may be, required to pay. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 145.022, 75 percent of the additional revenues generated by this paragraph shall be remitted monthly to the Clerk of the Court Child Support Enforcement Collection System Trust Fund administered by the department as provided in subparagraph 2. These funds shall be used exclusively for the development, implementation, and operation of the Clerk of the Court Child Support Enforcement Collection System to be operated by the depositories, including the automation of civil case information necessary for the State Case Registry. The department shall contract with the Florida Association of Court Clerks and the depositories to design, establish, operate, upgrade, and maintain the automation of the depositories to include, but not be limited to, the provision of online electronic transfer of information to the IV-D agency as otherwise required by this chapter. The department’s obligation to fund the automation of the depositories is limited to the state share of funds available in the Clerk of the Court Child Support Enforcement Collection System Trust Fund. Each depository created under this section shall fully participate in the Clerk of the Court Child Support Enforcement Collection System and transmit data in a readable format as required by the contract between the Florida Association of Court Clerks and the department.

2.Moneys to be remitted to the department by the depository shall be done daily by electronic funds transfer and calculated as follows:

a.For each support payment of less than $33, 18.75 cents.

b.For each support payment between $33 and $140, an amount equal to 18.75 percent of the fee charged.

c.For each support payment in excess of $140, 18.75 cents.

3.The fees established by this section shall be set forth and included in every order of support entered by a court of this state which requires payment to be made into the depository.

(3)

(a)For payments not required to be processed through the State Disbursement Unit, the depository shall collect and distribute all support payments paid into the depository to the appropriate party. On or after July 1, 1998, if a payment is made on a Title IV-D case which is not accompanied by the required transaction fee, the depository shall not deduct any moneys from the support payment for payment of the fee. Nonpayment of the required fee shall be considered a delinquency, and when the total of fees and costs which are due but not paid exceeds $50, the judgment by operation of law process set forth in s. 61.14(6)(a) shall become applicable and operational. As part of its collection and distribution functions, the depository shall maintain records listing:

1.The obligor’s name, address, social security number, place of employment, and any other sources of income.

2.The obligee’s name, address, and social security number.

3.The amount of support due as provided in the court order.

4.The schedule of payment as provided in the court order.

5.The actual amount of each support payment received, the date of receipt, the amount disbursed, and the recipient of the disbursement.

6.The unpaid balance of any arrearage due as provided in the court order.

7.Other records as necessary to comply with federal reporting requirements.

(b)The depository may require a payor or obligor to complete an information form, which shall request the following about the payor or obligor who provides payment by check:

1.Full name, address, and home phone number.

2.Driver’s license number.

3.Social security number.

4.Name, address, and business phone number of obligor’s employer.

5.Date of birth.

6.Weight and height.

7.Such other information as may be required by the State Attorney if prosecution for an insufficient check becomes necessary.If the depository requests such information, and a payor or obligor does not comply, the depository may refuse to accept personal checks from the payor or obligor.

(c)Parties using the depository for support payments shall inform the depository of changes in their names or addresses. An obligor shall, additionally, notify the depository of all changes in employment or sources of income, including the payor’s name and address, and changes in the amounts of income received. Notification of all changes shall be made in writing to the depository within 7 days of a change.

(d)When time-sharing of a child is relinquished by a parent who is entitled to receive child support moneys from the depository to the custody of a licensed or registered long-term care child agency, that agency may request from the court an order directing child support payments that would otherwise be distributed to the parent be distributed to the agency for the period of time that the child is with the agency. Thereafter, payments shall be distributed to the agency as if the agency were the parent until further order of the court.

(4)The depository shall provide to the IV-D agency, at least once a month, a listing of IV-D accounts which identifies all delinquent accounts, the period of delinquency, and total amount of delinquency. The list shall be in alphabetical order by name of obligor, shall include the obligee’s name and case number, and shall be provided at no cost to the IV-D agency.

(5)The depository shall accept a support payment tendered in the form of a check drawn on the account of a payor or obligor, unless the payor or obligor has previously remitted a check which was returned to the depository due to lack of sufficient funds in the account. If the payor or obligor has had a check returned for this reason, the depository shall accept payment by cash, cashier’s check, or money order, or may accept a check upon deposit by the payor or obligor of an amount equal to 1 month’s payment. Upon payment by cash, cashier’s check, or money order, the depository shall disburse the proceeds to the obligee within 2 working days. Payments drawn by check on the account of a payor or obligor shall be disbursed within 4 working days. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 28.243, the administrator of the depository shall not be personally liable if the check tendered by the payor or obligor is not paid by the bank.

(6)Certified copies of payment records maintained by a depository shall without further proof be admitted into evidence in any legal proceeding in this state.

(7)The depository shall provide to the Title IV-D agency the date provided by a payor, as required in s. 61.1301, for each payment received and forwarded to the agency. If no date is provided by the payor, the depository shall provide the date of receipt by the depository and shall report to the Title IV-D agency those payors who fail to provide the date the deduction was made.

(8)On or before July 1, 1994, the depository shall provide information required by this chapter to be transmitted to the Title IV-D agency by online electronic transmission pursuant to rules promulgated by the Title IV-D agency.

(9)If the increase in fees as provided by paragraph (2)(b) expires or is otherwise terminated, the depository shall not be required to provide the Title IV-D agency the date provided by a payor as required by s. 61.1301.(10)Compliance with the requirements of this section shall be included as part of the annual county audit required pursuant to s. 218.39.

For the latest version of this statute, visit http://www.leg.state.fl.us.

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About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at www.FamilyDiplomacy.com. Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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