It's not as easy to duck out on child support obligations as it used to be. Child support enforcement agencies have several ways to get to a deadbeat parent and force them to make good on their responsibilities. If you have noticed your ex is not complying with the orders, you have the law on your side. To know how to handle things, read on.
Your Ex Has Money Troubles
You may already know why your ex is falling behind on child support payments. They may have lost their job, been ill, or just have too many other bills to pay right now. None of those excuses are adequate, however. The orders stand until the responsible party appears in court, asks for, and is granted a reduction. They must prove that their financial circumstances have changed. Even then, the court system sees things from the eyes of the child, and many attempts to alter support orders fall on deaf ears. Even the law supports a child's right to be supported by both parents. However, most child support agencies can be understanding as long as the parent contacts them and sets up a plan to get things caught up. Many parents don't do that, though.
How the Law Intervenes With Deadbeat Parents
Contact the agency in charge of support enforcement to find out what should be done. Here is what parents expecting child support need to know about being paid:
- Your ex cannot avoid paying child support even if they declare bankruptcy. The bankruptcy courts will even seize property from them, sell it, and funnel the money toward the child support obligation.
- If your ex won't pay and is employed, the judge can order wage garnishment. This form of getting paid is so effective that the judge orders all paying parents to have their wages garnished in some states. To ensure payment, the employer is ordered to set aside a certain sum of money and provide it to the child.
Along with the above, certain types of punishment could be in store for non-paying parents such as:
- Liens on assets like real estate. The property cannot be sold until the obligation is satisfied.
- No government aid. That means the non-payer won't be eligible for housing, food, and other forms of government help.
- License suspensions. The deadbeat's driving privileges are removed until the payments are caught up.
- Seizing of income tax refunds. The money goes to the child via the custodial parent.
You may need to contact a family law attorney for help with getting your ex to pay child support.