Section 61.1824, Florida Statutes

State Disbursement Unit.—

(1)The State Disbursement Unit is hereby created and shall be operated by the Department of Revenue or by a contractor responsible directly to the department. The State Disbursement Unit shall be responsible for the collection and disbursement of payments for:

(a)All support cases enforced by the department pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act; and

(b)All child support cases not being enforced by the department pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act in which the initial support order was issued in this state on or after January 1, 1994, and in which the obligor’s child support obligation is being paid through income deduction.

(2)The State Disbursement Unit must be operated in coordination with the department’s child support enforcement automated system in Title IV-D cases.

(3)The State Disbursement Unit shall perform the following functions:

(a)Disburse all receipts from intercepts, including, but not limited to, United States Internal Revenue Service, unemployment compensation, lottery, and administrative offset intercepts.

(b)Provide employers and payors with one address to which all income deduction collections are sent.

(c)When there is more than one income deduction order being enforced against the same obligor by the payor, allocate the amounts available for income deduction in the manner set forth in s. 61.1301.

(d)To the extent feasible, use automated procedures for the collection and disbursement of support payments, including, but not limited to, having procedures for:

1.Receipt of payments from obligors, employers, other states and jurisdictions, and other entities.

2.Timely disbursement of payments to obligees, the department, and other state Title IV-D agencies.

3.Accurate identification of payment source and amount.

4.Furnishing any parent, upon request, timely information on the current status of support payments under an order requiring payments to be made by or to the parent, except that in cases described in paragraph (1)(b), prior to the date the State Disbursement Unit becomes fully operational, the State Disbursement Unit shall not be required to convert and maintain in automated form records of payments kept pursuant to s. 61.181.

5.Electronic disbursement of support payments to obligees. The State Disbursement Unit shall notify obligees of electronic disbursement options. Any payments made to the State Disbursement Unit that are owed to the obligee shall be disbursed electronically. The obligee may designate a personal account for deposit of payments. If the obligee does not designate a personal account, the State Disbursement Unit shall deposit any payments into a stored value account that can be accessed by the obligee.

(e)Information regarding disbursement must be transmitted in the following manner:

1.In Title IV-D cases, the State Disbursement Unit shall transmit, in an electronic format as prescribed by the department, all required information to the department on the same business day the information is received from the employer or other source of periodic income, if sufficient information identifying the payee is provided. The department shall determine distribution allocation of a collection and shall electronically transmit that information to the State Disbursement Unit, whereupon the State Disbursement Unit shall disburse the collection. The State Disbursement Unit may delay the disbursement of payments toward arrearages until the resolution of any timely appeal with respect to such arrearages. The State Disbursement Unit may delay the disbursement of Title IV-D collections until authorization by the Title IV-D agency has been received.

2.In non-Title IV-D cases, payment information is not transmitted to the department. The State Disbursement Unit may delay the disbursement of payments toward arrearages until the resolution of any timely appeal with respect to such arrearages.

(f)Reconcile all cash receipts and all disbursements daily and provide the department with a daily reconciliation report in a format as prescribed by the department.

(g)Disburse support payments to foreign countries as may be required.

(h)Receive and convert support payments made in foreign currency.

(i)Remit to the department payments for costs due the department.

(j)Handle insufficient funds payments, claims of lost or stolen checks, and stop payment orders.

(k)Issue billing notices and statements of account, in accordance with federal requirements, in a format and frequency prescribed by the department to persons who pay and receive child support in Title IV-D cases.

(l)Provide the department with a weekly report that summarizes and totals all financial transaction activity.

(m)Provide toll-free access to customer assistance representatives and an automated voice response system that will enable the parties to a support case to obtain payment information.

(4)For cases in which the obligor or payor fails to submit payment directly to the central address provided by the State Disbursement Unit, the depositories shall have procedures for accepting a support payment tendered in the form of cash or 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 remit the payment to the State Disbursement Unit within 1 business day after receipt.

(5)Obligees receiving payments through the State Disbursement Unit shall inform the State Disbursement Unit of changes in their names and addresses. Notification of all changes must be made directly to the State Disbursement Unit within 7 business days after a change. In Title IV-D cases, the State Disbursement Unit shall transmit the information to the department, in an electronic format prescribed by the department, within 1 business day after receipt.

(6)All support payments for cases to which the requirements of this section apply shall be made payable to and delivered to the State Disbursement Unit.

(a)An employer that is required to remit tax payments electronically to the department under s. 213.755 or s. 443.163 shall remit support payments deducted pursuant to an income deduction order or income deduction notice and provide associated case data to the State Disbursement Unit by electronic means approved by the department. The department may waive the requirement to remit payments electronically for an employer that is unable to comply despite good faith efforts or due to circumstances beyond the employer’s reasonable control. Grounds for approving a waiver include, but are not limited to, circumstances in which:

1.The employer does not have a computer that meets the minimum standards necessary for electronic remittance.

2.Additional time is needed to program the employer’s computer.

3.The employer does not currently file data electronically with any business or government agency.

4.Compliance conflicts with the employer’s business procedures.

5.Compliance would cause a financial hardship.

(b)The department shall adopt by rule standards for electronic remittance, data transfer, and waivers that, to the extent feasible, are consistent with the department’s rules for electronic filing and remittance of taxes under ss. 213.755 and 443.163. A waiver granted by the department from the requirement to file and remit electronically under s. 213.755 or s. 443.163 constitutes a waiver from the requirement under this subsection.

(7)Notwithstanding any other statutory provision to the contrary, funds received by the State Disbursement Unit shall be held, administered, and disbursed by the State Disbursement Unit pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

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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