When parents separate or divorce, family courts still want to ensure that the couple's children are taken care of. If you're the custodial parent, your ex might be ordered to pay part of their monthly income toward your child's living expenses. The amount calculated by the court should be affordable, but your ex might stop making payments and refuse to pay even if they can afford it as a way to get back at you.
You depend on monthly support to cover your child's expenses, so the law is on your side when you need to collect unpaid child support. It's important that you don't withhold your ex's visitation rights as punishment for missed payments, however. Custody issues are separate from support and could result in negative consequences for you. Instead, consult a child support attorney about how to pursue unpaid support legally.
File a Claim With Your State's Child Support Office
When you report unpaid child support to your state's child support enforcement office, someone there will begin an investigation. They'll work with your attorney to contact your ex and request the missed payments. If your ex doesn't respond, the office could contact your ex's employer and have the child support deducted directly from their paycheck and sent to you.
It's also possible for the office to levy fines against your ex until their child support is paid off. Filing a claim with the help of your child support attorney and notifying your ex about the potential fines might be enough to urge them to make full payments on time.
The Possibility of Jail Time
If your separation or divorce was highly contentious, those emotions might carry over into issues with your ex not wanting to pay you to raise your child. You may want to punish your ex in return by having the court issue a jail sentence for unpaid child support, but know that this is actually a rare penalty. Unless your child's other parent willfully withholds child support for over a year or the amount they owe exceeds $5,000, it's unlikely that the court will send them to jail. Ask your attorney about other ways to pursue unpaid child support through the legal system.
Effects on Employment
Another way that a state's child support enforcement office can incentivize non-paying parents is by threatening to take away their driver's license, passport, or professional business license. If your ex would lose their ability to drive, travel, or run a business, then that may be enough motivation for them to resume making child support payments to help you support your child. Your child support attorney can help you ensure that this legal process goes as smoothly as possible so that you have enough money to raise your child.
Hello and welcome, I'm Winfred Paulo. I have a passion for civil court cases of all kinds. Some time back, I ended up in the thick of a civil case after a lengthy dispute with my neighbor. The dispute went on for years and ended badly with an incident that landed us both in court. We had to prove our side of the case in an effort to obtain a positive outcome and recoup our losses. Unfortunately, I lost the case due to a lack of evidence. Since then, I've maintain a strong interest in civil cases and their proceedings. I will share information about civil cases on this site to help others understand these proceedings better. I may talk about legal terms, and expected outcomes for each case type. I hope you visit often to learn more. Thanks for stopping by my website.