How Can The Law Help Enforce Child Support Payments?

Are you owed child support by a non-custodial parent, and are they not paying their court mandated child support? If so, you may be wondering what you can do to get them to pay up. Here are some legal remedies to the situation that can be taken if you are not receiving child support.

Income Tax Return Interception

The court has the ability to intercept a non-custodial parent's income tax return to make sure that you get the money that is owed to you. This may be the easiest way to collect the money if it is tax season and you are not in urgent need of the money. However, there must be a refund for this method to work. It's possible for someone to underpay their taxes so that they never give the government the ability to take an interest-free loan.

Contempt of Court

You may need to take the non-custodial parent to court but only if certain conditions are met due to state laws. This often means that the person owes enough money for child support to cross a certain threshold where a court date is necessary to resolve the issue. Another common requirement is if there is no excuse for why child support isn't paid. For example, the loss of a job could be an excuse that keeps someone out of court because it is out of their control.

The penalties for being found in contempt of court can be quite serious. In addition to paying back the unpaid child support, there could be additional penalties that need to be paid and potential jail time. This is a huge deterrent for allowing back child support payments to accumulate to a level where court is necessary to help someone pay up.

License Suspension

Does the non-custodial parent hold licenses that allow them to do certain things? This could include a license to drive a vehicle, a professional license for their job, or even a recreational license to fish and hunt. These licenses can be suspended in an effort to encourage a non-custodial parent to pay child support, since the suspension will be lifted after they pay the money that is owed. 

Wage Garnishment

A common method used under the law is wage garnishment, where money owed for child support is taken away from the non-custodial parent before they receive their paycheck. Wage garnishment can be stopped by the person that owes child support by filing paperwork with their employer, but the request to stop wage garnishment may not be granted if there is no evidence of an effort made to pay child support. 

Contact a child support lawyer for more information.