In What Circumstances Can the Court Abate Child Support While the Ddefendant Is Incarcerated ?

In Department of Revenue v. Jackson, 780 So. 2d 342 (Fla. 5th DCA 2001), Jackson had been ordered to pay child support for his daughter. See id. at 342. His weekly obligation was $ 32.25, which was later increased to $ 58.24 per week due to an arrearage. He was "later incarcerated for dealing in stolen property and for drug possession, and he filed a motion to abate child support during his incarceration." Id. Jackson's sentence was imposed in May 1998 and his present release date is June 2003. At the hearing on his petition to modify, Jackson testified that "all of the crimes that was committed was because of a drug addiction . . . because I was a drug addict and, therefore, the crime was committed by me." Accordingly it does not appear that Jackson committed the crime for which he was incarcerated in order to avoid child support. The trial court entered an order abating child support, which specifically stated: While the Defendant is incarcerated, he shall have no obligation to pay child support since he has no present ability to pay support and the imputation of income for child support purposes would be improper. . . . Upon the Defendant being released from incarceration and/or obtaining employment through a work release program, the Plaintiff retains the right to reestablish child support obligations of the Defendant and also pursue child support arrearages, if any, by all lawful means.