Couples may find themselves in strange situations because of their child support and custody issues. Local news for the Tampa, Florida area reported on a father forced to pay child support after his wife was arrested for a drug related offense

Mother in the Tampa area overdoses with her children in her car

The situation occurred in Polk County. The father of the children was disappointed that he had to pay support to their mother, who was arrested after a cocaine overdose in her car where her two children were present, and she was pregnant with a third. Officers with the Polk County Sheriff responded to the area and found a 36 year old female unconscious at the steering wheel in a hot car with two children, both under the age of 5. After being rushed to the hospital, she had to receive an emergency C-section to save the life of the unborn child. 

Within a few hours of these events, the Department of Children and Families had taken custody of the 2 year old male child and returned him to his father. He is still obligated to give approximately $1,000 a month in support payments to the mother, despite this incident. She was charged with a felony for child neglect after this episode.  

The 2 year old’s father claims that he has been with his son non-stop since the incident happened. Even though the DCF placed the children in a temporary shelter program, the mother still technically has primary custody of all of them. 

The father qualified for temporary custody based on this shelter program, however he is still paying $217 a week to the mother even though she was charged and he is caring for the child full time. He had filed a request with the local courts to modify the payments temporarily while he had custody, but he was still waiting on a hearing to resolve the issue at the time of the news report. 

Reasons for child support payments and modifications

In Florida, child support is assigned to the non-custodial parent due to their reduced custody time, and the amount is a percentage of their income that is based on a simple formula. This can only be changed if a judge makes a finding to deviate from the guidelines. An attorney can file a motion for a new hearing to change the obligations or amounts in a situation like this where there is criminal behavior and the other parent’s custody rights may be affected. 

Get assistance with various family law issues

You can schedule a meeting with a family law attorney to discuss child custody and support issues, or other problems such as an upcoming divorce. To learn more from a local lawyer in the Tampa area, contact:

The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet 

1901 Ulmerton Road, Suite 435, Clearwater, FL 33762 


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