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What to Know About Enforcing Child Support

Once a child support order has been established by a court, all parties to the order must obey its instructions, particularly the paying spouse. If the paying spouse fails to live up to their requirements in a child support arrangement, it is important for the custodial parent to get in touch with their attorney or the local Office of Child Support Services for assistance in enforcing the order.

Enforcement tools available for compelling a delinquent parent to meet their obligations include:

  • Wage garnishment: You may be able to request the custodial parent have a certain portion of their wages withheld for the purpose of being redirected to pay child support obligations. That means the money would never actually enter the parent’s bank account—it would be taken out similar to Social Security and income tax.
  • Tax refund interception: If you know the delinquent parent is due a tax refund, you can ask the state to intercept it to cover all or part of the missing child support payments.
  • License suspension: A delinquent parent may be subject to suspension or revocation of a driver’s license or professional license until they meet their child support obligations.
  • Contempt of court: This legal order could result in fines or jail time for parents who fail to make their child support payments as ordered by the court. You would need to go to court to obtain a contempt of court order. You can be incarcerated if you are held in willful contempt of a child support order.
  • Passport restrictions: Delinquent parents may be prevented from leaving the country and renewing their passport if they do not meet their child support obligations.

These are just a few examples of some of the tools that can be used to hold delinquent parents accountable. For more information about enforcing child support, contact an experienced divorce lawyer at Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.