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What can I expect at my DOR child support hearing?

Many Tampa child support attorneys are asked about what someone can expect at their Department of Revenue child support hearing.  A DOR child support hearing is somewhat mysterious to many folks because they are totally foreign since they do not occur in courtroom or before a judge in some capacity.  In Hillsborough County, the hearings are conducted in the Edgecomb Courthouse in downtown Tampa.

First, you will enter a large conference room with rows of over a hundred chairs.  Rather than holding a DOR child hearing in a courtroom, they are held essentially in conference rooms with a desk in the middle.  The conference room is one of the more awkward parts of the entire courthouse because it forces people to literally stare at one another given how awkwardly the room is laid out.  There is a single desk in the room, where you are required to sign in for your hearing.  The individual sitting at the desk will request you complete a questionnaire, which is akin to a financial affidavit.

After completing the financial affidavit and handing it back to the individual at the desk, you will be forced to return to your seat and wait again.  Eventually, you will be brought back into a small office with two individuals from the Department of Revenue sitting at desks with computers.  They will attempt to take the information on your questionnaire and create proposed child support guidelines to present to the magistrate.  This again is a very awkward process since this individual generally has goals adverse to your goals.   They have no interest in minimizing your child support exposure.  After the proposed child support guidelines and arrearage amount are calculated, you will have an opportunity to return to the awkward large conference room.  Having a Tampa child support attorney present during this phase of the hearing is critical to present your information to this individual in the most favorable light possible.    Any Tampa child support attorney will tell you it is far easier to get the judge to agree to lower guidelines if they start lower prior to the hearing, as opposed to trying to convince the magistrate to adopt new guidelines.  Starting with a lower child support guideline amount is critical in Tampa child support hearings.

After returning to the conference room, you will quickly continue to a magistrate’s hearing room.  These rooms look more like conference rooms featuring a long conference table and a magistrate sitting at the end with a desktop computer.  Your DOR child support hearing will occur in this conference room.  The attorney from the Department of Revenue will sit with the party seeking child support payments or an increase in their monthly child support payments.   The hearing is often the quickest part of someone’s experience with the Department of Revenue since the majority of the issues are decided prior to entering the room.  A Tampa child support attorney can assist you in front of a magistrate by arguing for your credit concerning potential time sharing issues, child support paid without adequate documentation and other similar issues.  A Tampa child support attorney can also assist you in ensuring you receive credit for any time sharing you may have or had in the past.

If you or someone you know has questions concerning Department of Revenue child support hearings, contact the Tampa child support attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation.  We have handled child support and child custody issues throughout the Tampa Bay Area.  Further, we will assist you during your DOR child support hearing to minimize your child support payment.  If you would like to consult with one of our Tampa child support attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand of this webpage.  Thank you for taking the time in checking out our Tampa child support attorney blog and we look forward to hearing from you.