Child support refers to the ongoing monetary expenditures and payments which are necessary to cover a child’s living and medical expenses. Both parents have a legal duty to provide financial support for their children and the court may order the non-custodial parent to make ongoing payments to cover a child’s living and medical expenses. Child support evasion is a serious charge and among the consequences is wage garnishment, contempt charges, or property liens. In this context, it is important to provide evidence when the question of whether you have made child support payments according to the terms of your child support order ever comes up.
How is Child Support Paid?
When child support is mandated by a judge-issued child support order, there will be information about when and how the child support must be paid as well as the amount that is required to be paid. Child support payments may be made differently in different jurisdictions. In some states, child support is paid directly to the custodial parent while in other states, child support is paid to a state agency. Your obligations must be paid through garnishment of your wages if you did not make your child support payments. It is important to follow the specific rules of your child support order when you make your payments so that the payment is directed to the correct recipient. You could face contempt charges if, for example, you make payments to the other parent when you were supposed to make the payments to a state agency.
Referencing Child Support Payments
If there are any legal issues surrounding child support payments, the payment history can be examined. Some of the major legal issues are:
- The failure to pay child support;
- Requests by employers who are looking for more information regarding child support payments;
- Any requests for a modification, adjustment, or a cancellation of a child support order; and/or
- Requests for back payments, which refer to any payments missed in the past.
Child support payment histories are quite useful when there are disputes between the parents and when there is a need to verify how much money is owed. For example, a parent may have missed child support payments in the past while the other parent is now requesting for back payments with the court. In this context, the judge may need to examine the parent’s child support payment history in order to determine the amount that the parent will be required to pay.
Is it Important to Get Proof of Payment?
If you were ordered to make child support payments directly to the other parent, you can request copies of canceled checks from your bank which show that the other parent deposited and received the payments. These checks can show that you did not pay child support late if they were deposited in a timely fashion and you can also ask your bank to provide the dates when the checks were deposited.
If you make cash payments, you can provide bank statements which show regular withdrawals of cash. You can also pay via money order if you do not have a bank account and you can save the money order receipts. The receipts can be a type of proof. It is also possible to subpoena your former partner’s financial records or bank account information to prove that you made your payments.
If your payments are deducted from your paycheck through wage garnishment or any other direct payment method, you can ask the human resources department or any individual in charge of paying you for the order that requested the garnishment. You can ask for a receipt or pay stub when the payments are deducted to show proof of payment.
If you pay child support directly to a child support agency, that agency can provide you with records which show that you have paid. Your child support order will indicate the agency that receives the payments and you can contact the child support assistance division of the agency to ask for a record of all payments.
If there are inaccurate records, you can request canceled checks from your bank or provide receipts from money orders which show that you made the payments. You can then give the proof to the agency and ask them to correct the records.
Where Can You Find the Right Lawyer?
Child support payments are essential and it is important to comply with the directions of the court order. If you are experiencing any legal issues surrounding child support payments, it is important to consult with a family law attorney before proceeding.