Bennett Wolff Attorney at Law

Methods Used to Enforce Child Support


Child support is a program created by the institution of family law to ensure that children receive the monetary resources and care they need after a relationship comes to an end because of divorce or separation. Across the United States, parents are obligated to provide their children with financial support and may face severe penalties if they do not uphold these obligations. Keep reading to discover some of the ways family court enforces these child support payments to help avoid extensive, substantial back payments from accumulating over time.

Wage Garnishment

Garnishing the wages of the parent in question is one of the most straightforward and painless ways to collect unpaid child support. Through a court order, the custodial parent can collect child support directly from the deadbeat parent’s salary or paycheck. This is the best tactic to take if the non-paying parent is employed but may not be taking the child support seriously enough to make the payments on their own.

Driver License Suspension

Revoking or suspending the delinquent parent’s license is another tactic used to encourage child support payments which have not been received over an extended period of time. The law may also refuse to renew the license of a parent who has missed child support payments repeatedly. Generally, the DMV will give the non-paying parent a window of opportunity to make the back payments before the suspension can occur.

Withhold Tax Refunds

Similar to wage garnishment, a tax refund seizure may become necessary to collect the arrears. In this scenario, the IRS will intercept the tax refund and hand this money over to the child support agency in place. This may be just one of many steps taken to recover the missing payments if there is a long history of missed child support. Child support services may also be entitled to place a lien on any sort of property the delinquent parent owns, as well as seize their assets.

Contempt of Court

Jail time or fines may become a possibility if the delinquent parent continues to disobey the court order and is held in contempt of court. This is generally the most drastic and serious measure used to obtain unpaid child support. While putting a delinquent parent behind bars may seem counter-productive when it comes to receiving child support, sometimes this becomes the last option to convince the non-paying parent about the seriousness of their inaction.

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About the Author

Attorney Bennett Wolff provides personalized and strong representation for family law cases, including: divorce, child custody, relocation of a minor child, child sexual abuse, child support, spousal support and partition of community property with 30 years of experience in the area of Family law.