In family law cases where parents choose to divorce or where unmarried parents end their relationship, a parent will typically be required to pay child support. When a child support order is issued in family court, a parent has a legal obligation to pay the amount owed. In cases where a parent fails to make the required payments, the other parent may need to take legal action to enforce the court’s requirements. In addition to meeting their requirement to make ongoing payments, a parent will need to pay any past-due child support that is owed, and interest may apply until the amounts owed are paid in full.
Many parents struggle to collect unpaid child support. Child support is a legal obligation that a non-custodial parent is required to pay to the custodial parent. It’s meant to help cover the costs of raising a child, including expenses like housing, food, clothing, education, and healthcare. Unfortunately, not all non-custodial parents fulfill their obligation to pay child support, leaving the custodial parent and child in a difficult financial situation. If you are in this situation, it is important to understand your rights and how to enforce them.
Before taking any legal action it may be possible to modify an existing child support order if circumstances have changed since it was issued. For example, if either parent has experienced a significant change in income or living expenses, they may be eligible for a modification of their current order. To do this, you must file a petition with the court requesting a modification of your current order and provide evidence supporting your request.
If communication and working with the child support enforcement agency are not effective, it may be necessary to take legal action to collect unpaid child support. The specific legal actions available to you will depend on the laws in your state, but some common options include:
Wage Garnishment – This involves having the child support payment automatically deducted from the non-custodial parent’s wages.
Liens – A lien can be placed on the non-custodial parent’s property, such as a house or car, to collect unpaid child support.
Driver’s License Suspension – Some states can suspend a non-custodial parent’s driver’s license if they fail to pay child support.
Contempt of Court – If a court finds that a non-custodial parent is in contempt of court for failing to pay child support, they can face fines or even jail time.
Enforcing your right to collect unpaid child support can be a complex legal process. It’s often helpful to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law to understand your legal options and ensure your rights are protected. A divorce lawyer in Anniston, or wherever you live, can also help you navigate the court system and advocate on your behalf.
Collecting unpaid child support can be a frustrating and emotional experience for custodial parents. However, it’s important to remember that you have legal rights and options available to you. By understanding your child support order, keeping detailed records, communicating with the non-custodial parent, and taking legal action if necessary, you can enforce your right to collect unpaid child support and ensure your child’s needs are met. With the help of experienced legal counsel and a commitment to advocating for your child, you can navigate this difficult situation and find a resolution that works for your family.