When the non-custodial parent refuses to meet his or her obligation to pay child support, it can impact the custodial parent's ability to properly care for the child. If the non-custodial parent is experiencing a hardship, it is up to him or her to go back to court to request a modification. Until this happens, the custodial parent can take measures to receive payments. If you are owed support, here are some measures you can take.
Talk to the Non-Custodial Parent
Although you have the right to use legal means of collecting the child support you are owed, it is sometimes best to give the non-custodial parent a chance to remedy the situation. Not only does this help to avoid bad feelings between you and the other parent, but it can also help you avoid going to court.
If the non-custodial parent is willing to work out an agreement, get it in writing. Your attorney can draft an agreement for both of you to sign. The written agreement can serve as evidence if you do end up taking your case to court.
Contact the State's Child Support Enforcement Division
Each state has a Child Support Enforcement Division, or CSE. The CSE is responsible for helping custodial parent's collect child support payments. Even if you did not initially go through the agency to get an order, you can still ask for assistance.
When you file an application with the CSE for assistance, state and federal agencies are notified that the non-custodial parent is behind in child support. As a result, when the non-custodial parent works, receives a tax payment, settlement, or any other financial compensation, it can be garnished to pay the arrears.
The non-custodial parent could also be denied a passport, driver's license, fishing license, and other registrations until he or she catches up on the payments.
File a Petition With the Court
If you are still unable to collect payments, your attorney can file a petition with the court requesting that the judge hold the non-custodial parent in contempt. By refusing to make the payments, the non-custodial parent is defying the orders of the court.
If the judge sides with you, he or she can order the parent to make the payments by a certain date and even order him or her to jail.
It can be time-consuming to pursue child support arrears, but it is you and your child's rights to receive the payments. Work with an attorney to find the quickest solution to the issue. If you need more assistance, contact an attorney like those at Craig H. Lane, PC.