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When it comes to legal issues involving family law, there are a variety of topics that parents may go over, such as property distribution and alimony. However, those which involve children are often particularly stressful for fathers as well as their kids. Fathers may find themselves fighting for the custody of their child or attempting to prove that a child is not theirs. For fathers who live in Lee County, or another part of Southwest Florida, understanding various responsibilities and parental rights is paramount.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, estimates show that there were more than 13 million custodial parents during 2013, 17 percent of whom were fathers. Over the course of the year, more than $32 billion worth of child support was due across the country. However, custodial parents only reported to have received 68 percent of the child support they were owed.

The Florida Department of Revenue has outlined various penalties that non-custodial parents may face if they are do not pay child support. While many people are aware of certain potential consequences, such as the garnishment of wages and courtroom, unpaid child support may also lead to many other setbacks. For example, a non-custodial parent who falls behind on their payments may have their license suspended, tax refund intercepted or lottery winnings withheld, among other penalties.

Regardless of the struggles a father is facing, the child’s best interests should always remain a top priority. When parents understand the smartest direction forward and stay committed, their children could enjoy a more positive outcome.