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I need some advice. My daughter is a US citizen. We live in…

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Good day. I need some...
Good day. I need some advice. My daughter is a US citizen. We live in Panama, Republic of Panama. There is no agreement between Panama and the US for Child Support, and even though my divorce settlement states that the father should pay $200 monthly for child support, he has never done so, since 2008. He has maintained a relationship with her, though, as he has come to visit and she has gone to spend vacations with him.
Before, my situation was different as I had a great job and salary. Now, I am an independent consultant and require his help (responsibility) with school costs, etc.
How can I go about having him pay child support? The US Embassy in Panama has no child support office and has advised that I seek legal help in the US. The father lives in Florida since July 2015. Before that he lived in Puerto Rico. Any help I can get from you is appreciated.
Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
2/12/2016
Family Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 103,583
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Because the child is in Panama, jurisdiction for child support is in Panama. One wants to file for child support in Panama and get a decree for child support from the Panamanian court.

Once this is done, one hires an attorney in Florida to enforce the decree - in Florida. The attorney would then do two main things:

1) Domesticate the Panamanian decree in Florida. Even if there is no child support treaty, a Florida court will recognize a foreign decree if it has comity (meaning it was reached fairly in a court of law with each party having a proper chance to appear); and

2) Enforce the decree (now considered "domesticated") by pleadings such as contempt (where he may be admonished, fined, or jailed for not paying), garnishment, and possibly even suspending a driver license or passport.

Attorney fees may be added on to costs overall in Florida court at the Judge's discretion. You would need a Florida attorney for the second part. Let me know if you need help finding someone.

Good luck.

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Family Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never rated positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!
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