Is your ex not making court-ordered child support payments? | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC | Certified Family Law Specialist
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Is your ex not making court-ordered child support payments?

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When you decided your custody and child support matters during your divorce, you believed that your former spouse would honor those agreements. After all, you honor your part of the bargain on a daily basis as you continue to raise the children you had together.

The court awarded you primary custody, and in exchange, your ex agreed to continue to support your children in many ways, including financially by paying child support. For some reason, that financial support may not be coming anymore, and now you need to know how you can get those payments restarted.

First, why isn't the other parent making payments?

Is it possible that your ex is going through some financial difficulties? If so, they could be temporary. Even if they aren't, that does not mean that the other parent doesn't want to meet his or her financial obligations to the children. In some cases, simply discussing the matter could help resolve the issue. However, informal agreements are very susceptible to being broken. If you and the other parent do come to an agreement, it should go through the court to make sure that it's enforceable in case something goes wrong.

What happens if you can't reach an agreement?

If the other parent will not work with you or refuses to make payments for some reason, then you may go to the court for help. Here in California, the court can enforce an existing child support order in a number of ways:

  • Suspending the parent's driver's license
  • Freezing of the parent's bank accounts
  • Suspending the parent's professional license
  • Intercepting the parent's workers' compensation benefits
  • Denying your the parent's passport if he or she owes $2,500 or more
  • Intercepting your the parent's income tax refunds
  • Reporting your the parent's non-payment to credit bureaus
  • Intercepting a portion of the parent's disability benefits

The main priority of the court will be to protect the best interests of your children, and that could mean a number of things. If the situation is dire enough, your former spouse could face criminal charges. Hopefully, it won't come to that. It may be as simple as requesting a garnishment of his or her wages. When going to court, the other parent will have the chance to tell his or her side of the story. If the court finds that the circumstances warrant doing so, the court may modify the existing order.

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