1997 Florida Code
TITLE VI CIVIL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Chapter 61 Dissolution Of Marriage; Support; Custody  
61.181   Central depository for receiving, recording, reporting, monitoring, and disbursing alimony, support, maintenance, and child support payments; fees.

161.181  Central depository for receiving, recording, reporting, monitoring, and disbursing alimony, support, maintenance, and child support payments; fees.--

(1)  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 as provided by federal law.

(2)

(a)  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, which 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.  For the period of July 1, 1992, through June 30, 1999, 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 an automated child support enforcement collections system to be operated by the depositories. The department shall contract with the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers 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 on-line electronic transfer of information to the IV-D agency as otherwise required by this chapter. Each depository created under this section shall fully participate in the automated child support enforcement collection system on or before July 1, 1997, and transmit data in a readable format as required by the contract between the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers and the department. The department may at its discretion exempt a depository from compliance with full participation in the automated child support enforcement collection system.

2.  No later than December 31, 1996, 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.  Prior to June 30, 1995, the depositories and the department shall provide the Legislature with estimates of the cost of continuing the collection and maintenance of information required by this act.

4.  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)  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 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 custody of a child is relinquished by a custodial parent who is entitled to receive child support moneys from the depository to a licensed or registered long-term care child agency, that agency may request from the court an order directing child support payments which would otherwise be distributed to the custodial parent be distributed to the agency for the period of custody of the child by the agency. Thereafter, payments shall be distributed to the agency as if the agency were the custodial 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 on-line 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. 11.45.

(11)  The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shall conduct a program audit of the central child support enforcement depositories operating pursuant to this section. This audit shall include, but not be limited to, an analysis of current and pending federal requirements for the child support enforcement depository and a review of the adequacy of the present depository and funds distribution system to meet those requirements; a cost analysis of the current system; and a review of all strategies, including federal reimbursement, distribution of funds by the local depository, and privatization, to increase efficiency in payment processing. The audit must be completed and a report must be submitted to the Senate and the House of Representatives before December 1, 1996. This subsection shall not affect the implementation of any other parts of this section.

History.--s. 1, ch. 73-112; s. 1, ch. 75-148; s. 4, ch. 84-110; s. 5, ch. 85-178; s. 126, ch. 86-220; s. 1, ch. 87-358; s. 24, ch. 88-176; s. 3, ch. 89-183; s. 9, ch. 92-138; s. 14, ch. 93-208; s. 2, ch. 96-190; s. 5, ch. 96-305; s. 8, ch. 97-170.

1Note.--Section 77, ch. 97-170, provides that:

"(1)  On or before September 1, 1997, the Department of Revenue shall develop a draft request for proposal for a state disbursement unit and a draft request for proposal for a state case registry. The draft requests developed by the Department of Revenue must include a requirement that the vendor must consult with each depository established pursuant to s. 61.181, Florida Statutes, and a requirement that the vendor must develop a standard contract which must be offered to each depository. Before October 1, 1997, the Department of Revenue must request approval of the draft requests for proposal from the United States Department of Health and Human Services and any waivers necessary to implement them.

"(2)  On or before January 2, 1998, the Department of Revenue shall submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives which must include:

"(a)  Each draft request for proposal, and

"(b)  The status of approval of each draft request for proposal, including authorization for any waivers necessary to implement the draft request for proposal, from the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

"(3)  The Department of Revenue may not issue either request for proposal before May 15, 1998."
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