If you and your former spouse have children, you also have a child support order in place, since it is the obligation of both parents to continue to provide financial support. Since children spend the bulk of their time with the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent must faithfully make these child support payments. However, not every parent willingly fulfills this obligation. If your former spouse refuses to pay child support, you have legal options to ensure your children receive the support they deserve. Continue reading to learn more.
How Can I Enforce the Child Support Order?
Family courts take child-related matters quite seriously, so if your former spouse fails to pay child support, you should not hesitate to act. Before you take your ex to court, however, first find out why he or she is behind on these payments. If your former spouse lost a job or is dealing with another matter that might temporarily hinder his or her ability to pay, the court might recalculate payments and reduce them until circumstances change.
Whether your former spouse fell on hard times or simply refuses to pay, you will need to involve the court, so seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
Below are some methods a judge might use to enforce a child support order:
- License revocation or suspension: If your ex is behind on child support payments, the state might revoke or suspend his or her driver’s license.
- Wage garnishment: If a judge issues a wage deduction, child support payments will be taken directly from your former spouse’s paychecks.
- Federal income tax receipts: To cover your former spouse’s late child support payments, the state might also intercept his or her tax refund.
- Passport denial: Delinquent child support payments might also reduce your ex’s ability to travel since passport agencies might refuse to renew your former spouse’s passport.
- Contempt of court: If your former spouse owes a substantial amount of child support, a judge might even order jail time.
Typically, the state pursues unpaid child support cases. However, depending on the amount involved and various other factors, the U.S. Office of the Inspector General (OIG) might step in. If your former spouse resides in another state and one or more of the following applies:
- Did not pay child support for more than 12 months
- Left the state or the country to avoid making child support payments
- Owes more than $5,000
Even once your children reach the age of 18, you might still retrieve the child support payments your former spouse owes, so do not hesitate to obtain skilled legal counsel.
Reach Out to a Skilled Family Law Attorney Today!
If your spouse refuses to pay child support, you are probably experiencing some financial challenges as you try to provide for your children. To ensure you receive the payments your spouse owes, contact the team at Myers Family Law for the knowledgeable and compassionate legal advice and guidance you need to get through this. Our team has over two decades of experience, which we will put to work for you.
Call our law office today at (916) 634-0067 to set up a low-cost 30-minute consultation!