Back Child Support Laws
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What Is Back Child Support?
“Back child support” refers to unpaid child support payments that were missed in the past. Generally speaking, for instance, a parent may have a legal obligation to make monthly child support payments for the child’s basic necessities. If they fail to make payments, these missed amounts can be accrued over time and may be subject to collection through legal procedures.
Also called “retroactive child support,” back child support is usually easier to deal with if the parties have a working child support order. Without a child support order, it can become complicated in terms of calculating the amount of back support that is owed.
How Can You Get It?
If you are owed back child support, it is best to go through your lawyer and the legal system. Typically, a court order is needed to start the process of collecting financial support. Attempting to handle the issue on your own, or to negotiate with your former partner, is not advised as it may result in more complications and issues. Part of the process may require you to tell the court the:
- Date of the birth of the child;
- Date of separation from the other parent (if it applies);
- If the other parent has a job;
- The other parent’s last known address;
- Known aliases of the other parent;
- Appearance or distinctive markings on the other parent; and
- Anything else that can help them determine what is owed and where to find the other parent.
It is in your best interest to resolve the matter formally and legally, so that your state can help you retrieve your payment.
What Do You Do If They Refuse To Pay?
If the other parent refuses to pay, it is wise to go through the proper legal channels and go to court. A lawyer can advise you on how to file a claim in court, present any evidence showing non-payment, as well as explain your state’s specific laws regarding back child support. If the judge decides you are indeed owed financial support, the following is a list of how the court may enforce the payment of funds:
- Garnishment of wages
- Liens against property or real estate
- Reporting the debtor to credit bureaus
- Freezing bank accounts
- Suspension of driver’s or professional license
- Order of contempt
- Jail time
Be advised, if the individual cannot make full payments they can file a motion for a modification of support. This does not automatically let the individual off the hook. Rather, the court will examine whether the individual’s source of income changed drastically enough to modify the payment arrangement.
Will a Lawyer Be Able to Help Me?
The law requires payment of back child support, and a qualified lawyer in your local area can help. A local family law lawyer can assist you in gaining the financial support you and your children need to thrive.
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Last Modified: 06-27-2017 02:25 AM PDT
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