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Deadbeats Beware: How Child Support Is Enforced

If you are the parents of a minor child and are divorcing, you probably already understand how difficult any issue involving your child can be. Emotionally-charged divorce issues like child custody, visitation, and support are among the most contentious during the divorce. Unlike other important issues, like debt and property division, the courts take a very keen interest in the health and welfare of our most vulnerable population. The federal government has enacted strong laws and penalties concerning child support. Read on to learn more about child support provisions and enforcement.

What Happens When Child Support Is Not Paid

The courts take the failure to pay child support very seriously since you are impacting an innocent child who is relying on the court's protection. These harsh penalties include:

  • Garnishment of wages.

  • Being held in contempt of court.

  • Liens placed on property.

  • Income tax refunds being withheld.

  • Jail time

  • Losing government aid from programs like food stamps and housing assistance.

  • Driver's license revoked.

  • Inability to use government-sponsored loan programs, such as those backed by the USDA, the FHA, the Veterans Administration and some student loans.

Federal Enforcement

Regardless of the state in which the support order originated, every state is empowered with the enforcement of that order. Additionally, moving from one state to another for the purpose of avoiding paying child support is a federal offense under the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act.

When You Cannot Pay

Ignoring a child support obligation will only make matters worse. Contact your local enforcement agency as soon as you fall behind to make payment arrangements to help you get caught up. If your financial issues appear to be more serious or permanent, you may need to ask the court to make a change in the ordered amount. You must have good cause for such a request, such as a job loss or a serious medical issue. Contact a family law attorney for assistance in filing a request for a child support hearing.

Visitation Denial

It's important to note that child support and visitation are two completely separate issues, and you cannot be denied time with your child for that reason, regardless of how behind on your payments you are. A parent who tries to deny visitation with the non-custodial parent could be held in contempt of court.

For more information about fulfilling child support obligations and making changes in the agreement, contact a family law attorney such as Susan M Caplin for assistance. 

About Me

Choosing The Perfect Counsel

If you have ever been accused of a crime, then you know the absolute sinking feeling in your gut. It can be incredibly devastating to cope with the thought of living the rest of your life behind bars, which is why choosing the perfect counsel is crucial. I started thinking about who to work with a few years ago when I was accused of something that I knew I didn't do, and it was scary. However, I knew that by focusing on my innocence and finding the right professional, things would be manageable. Check out this blog for great information on choosing counsel.

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