What do I Need to Know About Child Support Enforcement?

When you are involved in a divorce case, you may have received a child support order. Perhaps your ex-spouse must pay child support every month to help you support your children, but your case may be complicated and require special attention. We will help you understand what happens if your spouse is not keeping up with payments, and so much more.

Child Support Enforcement

What happens when my spouse doesn’t pay? In 1984, an enforcement act was created as a way for you to receive child support when your ex-spouse refuses to pay. The spouse will be required to show up with the district attorney to make payment arrangements and, if they fail to follow these instructions, they could receive jail time. There could be consequences for not paying such as withholding federal tax refunds, garnishing wages, seizing property, and more. They could be found in contempt of court, which will make life harder on them, so it is in their best interest to show.

Does child support enforcement work when my spouse moves out of the state? Yes, you can still enforce child support when your child’s parent moved to another state. This works as long as your state still has jurisdiction over them. If not, you must ask the court in your state to forward the support order to the state where they currently reside. They can then send them to court. 

If my spouse owes a past due amount, will I receive that? Yes, in many cases. The courts are extremely strict about you getting your due amount. When the payer doesn’t pay and ends up in arrears, they can speak to the judge but the payments will only be reduced. This means that you will still get a certain amount. 

If my spouse manages our finances but does not allow money for our children, can I sue for enforcement? No, unless you and your spouse reside separately. Family lifestyle does not determine child support in many cases. If you happen to show the court that your children is lacking basic needs as a result, however, they may intervene to try and help you out. 

Does joint custody affect child support obligations? Not typically, because it usually just means making decisions on the child’s behalf and not anything to do with financial obligations.

If you are new to child support, you may have many questions. Even those who have a support order in place may be confused about their rights. Call us today to find out how we can help you if you have a child support case or are thinking about opening one. We can help you through the most difficult times.