Failure to pay court-ordered child support is not uncommon. But, there are a variety of ways for a parent who has been granted court-ordered child support to enforce the order.
The first way is to file a petition asking the court to enforce the child support order. This will involve a hearing being held where the non-paying parent can explain to the court why he or she failed to pay the court-ordered child support.
During this hearing, the judge presiding over the case will hear evidence from both sides and determine if the non-paying parent must comply with the original court-order and whether he or she will also be liable for the court costs and lawyer’s fees need to bring the case to trial.
Secondly, the state and local child support agency are available to the receiving parent to help enforce court-ordered child support. The receiving parent may be able to garnish the non-paying parent’s wages or even report the arrears to credit bureaus.
Child support enforcement agencies also work with local law enforcement and district attorneys who can issue an arrest warrant against the non-paying parent for non-payment of child support and/or contempt of a court order.
Other child support enforcement remedies include:
- Liens on property
- Passport denials
- Drivers license suspensions
- Income tax intercepts
All of these remedies can be utilized when an individual has failed to pay child support. Furthermore, in most cases, the child support enforcement agency can actually proceed with these child support enforcement remedies without a court’s involvement.
What’s more, the basic threshold for the utilization of child support enforcement remedies can be extremely low. For example, in cases that involve public assistance, the threshold can be as low as $150 of unpaid child support. For cases that don’t involve public assistance, the threshold can be as low as $500.
Federal child support enforcement
The majority of the child support cases in the United States fall under state jurisdiction. But, the federal government can intervene in cases where a parent hasn’t paid child support for more than one year, or where a non-custodial parent owes more than $5000 and their child lives in a different state.
The federal government can also intervene when a non-custodial parent moves to another state or country to avoid paying child support. These are federal offenses and the government works hard to make sure that violators are prosecuted to the very extent of the law.
Since 2006, the federal government has helped state authorities collect more than $33 million in child support payments from several hundred deadbeat parents. The Office of The Inspector General for the United States lists pictures of the most wanted child support fugitives and allows visitors to the site to easily report information to help capture these fugitives.
If you are experiencing problems receiving child support, or for more details on enforcing court-ordered child support, consult with an attorney experienced in this area. An experienced attorney can help ensure that you and your child receive the financial support you are entitled to.