If you are involved in a support matter involving the Florida Department of Revenue, then your case will be heard by a Child Support Hearing Officer, rather than a judge. But what are the powers of the Hearing Officer?
Hillsborough County Chief Judge Manuel Menendez, Jr., recently updated procedures for cases involving Child Support Hearing Officers, and 13th Judicial Circuit Administrative Order S-2014-002 designates to them the following powers:
A. Hear contested income deduction orders and recommend entry of appropriate orders in accordance with section 61.1301, Florida Statutes;
B. Conduct all hearings involving the establishment, modification or enforcement of child support, spousal support, and maintenance obligations, as well as arrears, (including those owed to the state and public assistance debt owed to the state), and recommend entry of appropriate orders in such cases;
C. Take testimony and establish a record at the hearing;
D. Accept voluntary acknowledgments of paternity, child support, spousal support, and maintenance obligations, arrears, and public assistance debt owed to the state and recommend entry of stipulated orders determining paternity or setting the amount of support, maintenance, or arrearages to be paid;
E. Prepare and recommend entry of default orders if the obligor does not respond as required by law; and
F. Perform such other and related functions as the chief judge may from time to time direct concerning the determination of paternity or enforcement of child support obligations.
If you receive a court document or correspondence involving the Florida Department of Revenue or a Child Support Enforcement Hearing Officer, make sure to contact a family law attorney right away to ensure that your rights remain preserved.