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How Does Child Support Order Work?

How Does Child Support Order Work

A child support order can be enforced like any other court judgment or decree. A parent who is responsible for child support can make use of every available legal tool to enforce the order.

Each state has its own laws regarding payment of child support. Through the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Administration for Children & Families, the federal government needs states to have a system in place for wage-withholding, license revocation and credit bureau reporting, together with many other laws, to enforce child support payments. Merely leaving one state and relocating to another may give you relief for sometime but it definitely won’t help you to avoid child support payments completely.

It’s becoming harder for worn-out parents to avoid payment of child support. There are strict laws enacted to establish and enforce child support orders.

What happens when you try to avoid paying child support?

Once set up, a child support order must be obeyed. If not, custodial parents may request an attorney or their local Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) as well referred to as the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) in a number of states for help.

When a parent fails to pay child support, the ex-spouse has a number of legal options to enforce payment. This includes:

1. Garnishment  or wage deductions

Garnishment, also referred as wage execution or wage garnishment. It is a court-ordered form of collecting debt.

Garnishment is a legal process in which a section of a person’s salary is paid to a judgment creditor. If a father is structured to pay child support and he doesn’t, his ex can garnish his wages. This implies that the husband’s employer would withhold a section of the husband’s earnings to pay the child support debt. When your wages are garnished, the money is removed straight out of your paycheck, and your employer will be aware of the reasons.

2. Credit bureau reporting

States also have the authority to report missed or late payments to various consumer reporting agencies, depending on how much the parent owes or how far behind in payments he or she is.

3. Federal income tax intercepts

The state can seize a large tax refund to pay for late or unpaid child support.

4. License suspensions and revocations

Parents who fail to pay child support can have their driver’s license(s) and/or professional license(s) revoked.

5. Passport restrictions

A parent who fails to pay child support may be inhibited from renewing his or her passport and thus would not be able to leave the country.

6. Contempt of court

This is a legal order that may lead to a fine or jail time for the parent who failed to make court-ordered support payments. Nevertheless, the custodial parent (or his or her attorney) has to visit the court to obtain this order from a judge.

Changing child support payments

The only legal way to pay less in child support is to get the court to alter the child’s support order or to suspend or stop your child support payments entirely. This can only be the case if there has been a substantial alteration in your circumstances after the court order to pay.

If you find your child support payments is becoming more than you can afford, you should get a divorce attorney and approach the court for a review of your case.


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