Enforcing child support may be necessary in instances where the paying parent has failed to meet the required child support payments.
Child support enforcement measures are usually handled through a child support enforcement agency. This is a department that is dedicated to all matters involving child support enforcement. If you need help enforcing child support, it may be necessary to submit a claim with a local child support enforcement agency. You may also file a petition with the court, especially if you have an existing child support order issued by the court.
Child Support Enforcement Agencies
Child support enforcement agencies perform various tasks and duties, including:
- Examining child support payment histories to determine whether any amounts are due.
- Identifying parents who may be responsible for child support payments (including performing paternity tests if necessary).
- Enforcing different measures in order to collect missing amounts, including garnishing wages from the parent’s paycheck, or seizing property in order to make up for missing amounts.
- Reporting related issues to a judge such as child abuse and neglect.
In some cases, child support enforcement agencies may also assist with issues involving back child support payments (i.e., failed payments that have accumulated over time). The various names and functions of child support enforcement agencies may vary for each state.
What Are Some Consequences of Not Paying Child Support?
Some consequences of not paying child support may include:
- Civil or criminal fines
- Loss of other civil rights
- Negative effects on credit scores and access to credit
- Exposure to civil lawsuits
- Contempt orders
Thus, it’s important to keep child support payments current. If you need help enforcing child support, there may be various other options available, such as a modification of a support order.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help Enforcing Child Support Payments?
Child support payments are important for the benefit and upbringing of the child or children involved. You may need to hire a qualified family attorney if you need help with child support enforcement. Your attorney can provide you with legal advice and can guide you throughout the entire legal process. Also, your lawyer can represent you in the event that you need to file a lawsuit or make an appearance in court.