HOW DO I ENFORCE A CHILD SUPPORT ORDER?
Many parents who receive child support on behalf of their child understand that it’s sometimes not possible for the other parent to make every single payment on time. However, some parents fail to meet their obligations to child support repeatedly, endangering the well-being of their child. In instances where a parent fails to pay child support repeatedly, a court has number of methods it may use to enforce a support order.
Before a parent petitions the court for help enforcing a child support order, it is important to understand that withholding visitation or interfering with the parenting rights of a parent who fails to pay is not going to look good to the court who hears a complaint. These rights are separate and should not depend on each other.
Courts may use a number of methods to compel a nonpaying parent to get back on track. While failing to pay child support may result in criminal charges and even jail time, courts prefer to avoid this if possible, since an incarcerated parent has no means of earning money to support his or her child. A court may instead
- Garnish wages
- Withhold tax refunds
- Revoke or deny various personal and professional licenses, or a passport
- Seize property
If you face the difficult task of compelling a parent to pay child support, it is important to keep your own affairs in order and remain in good standing with the court. An experienced attorney can help you assess your needs and prepare a strategy to use the strength of the law to protect your rights and the child you love.
Source: FindLaw, “Enforcement of Child Support: FAQ’s,” accessed Feb. 15, 2018