Although both parties are able to come to an agreement to finalize a divorce, it doesn’t mean that they will uphold their end of the bargain. There are many cases where one parent fails to pay child support, leaving the other to raise the child without proper financial assistance. If your ex-spouse or the other parent is ignoring their obligation to provide court-ordered child support, the family court can help.
The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 enables district attorneys to help you recover child support from an ex-spouse or parent who refuses to pay. The district attorney often serves the other party with papers that have instructions to meet him or her to set up a payment arrangement.
These papers typically say that if the other party fails to follow the instructions, jail time could be imposed. However, this can also be somewhat counter-productive, which is why it is considered a last resort.
Rather, the district attorney can impose other ways to recover payments, such as:
- Wage garnishments
- Seize property
- Withhold federal tax refunds and using these funds to pay child support
- Suspend the delinquent payer’s driver’s license
- Suspend a business license
If you expect the other party to fight you in court, or try to underestimate his or her earnings, you must collect all the documentation you can to prove his or her income. This includes pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, and any records which prove income and sales. In addition, collect proof of any vacations, costly purchases, and items which demonstrate the other party’s ability to afford child support.