When children are involved, a divorce settlement often becomes even more complicated and stressful. This is especially true in custody battle cases requiring the payment of child support. When child support is heavily relied on, but inconsistent, the custodial parent must take action to ensure reliable payments from the non-custodial parent. It is highly advised to work with an experienced attorney such as the family lawyer phoenix AZ locals have been trusting for years.
The Importance of Child Support
It is vital that child support payments are being made properly, because often times the parent with custody relies on that money to provide proper care and essentials for the child. Supporting a child requires the provision of adequate shelter, food, clothing, school necessities and medical care. Combined with other necessities and common expenses related to extracurricular activities for the child, child care becomes extremely expensive.
Unfortunately, many parents do not fulfill adequate child support requirements ordered of them. Whether by making late and inconsistent payment, or not paying child support at all, this can cause complications and even create dangers for the child involved.
Options for Enforcing a Child Support Order
In the case that the noncustodial parent is unreliable in making child support payments, the custodial parent has numerous options for enforcing the child support order. The custodial parent may first need to go to court and begin an enforcement action by proving he or she is entitled to the payments and did not receive them. To enforce the compliance of the non-custodial parent with the existing child support order, as well as collect unpaid child support, the child support agency may subject them to a number of enforcement tactics, such as:
- Wage Garnishment: The agency will work with the employer of the non-custodial parent to acquire the payment from his wage/paycheck.
- Tax Benefit or Refund Interception: The agency may take payments owed to the non-custodial parent by the government: such as in the form of a tax refund or social security checks – and apply it to the child support.
- Liens and Attachments: The agency can place a lien for unpaid child support on real estate and personal property. They may also seize assets, like bank accounts and funds.
- Credit Bureau Reporting: Since child support obligations are considered judgements, the agency may report child support information of the non-custodial parent to consumer reporting agencies.
- License Suspension and Passport Denial: The non-custodial parent may have their license suspended or restricted in the case that they have not paid child support. In some cases, non-custodial parents who fail to comply with child support orders may be submitted to the Department of State, which has the authority to deny or restrict the person’s U.S. passport.
- Jail Time: If all measures have been taken and the non-custodial parent still refuses to pay child support, the court may order him or her to serve jail time.
If you have had trouble receiving child support payments from the non-custodial parent, contact a family lawyer as soon as possible.
A special thanks to our partners at Hildebrand Law for their insight into Family Law.