Establishing Child Support
You must first get a court order to establish child support – this can be done in conjunction with a dissolution of marriage or if the parents are not married through a paternity action. A judge must approve your agreement and turn it into an official court order.
Enforcing Child Support and Collection of Back Child Support
Once established, a child support order must be obeyed. If not, custodial parents may ask an the Court or their Office of Child Support Enforcement for help. A delinquent parent may be subject to any, or all, of the following enforcement tools:
- Wage Deductions – the custodial parent, his or her attorney, or OCSS can request an income withholding order or wage assignment. With a wage deduction, child support is taken directly out of the non-custodial (paying) parent’s wages.
- Federal Income Tax Intercepts – the state can intercept a large tax refund to cover late or missing child support payments.
- License Suspensions and Revocations – a delinquent parent’s driver’s license(s) and/or professional license(s) may be revoked.
- Passport Restrictions – a parent that fails to pay child support may be prevented from renewing his or her passport (and therefore prevented from leaving the country).
- Contempt of Court – this is a legal order that may result in a fine or jail time for the parent who failed to make court-ordered support payments. However, the custodial parent (or his or her attorney) must go to court to obtain this order from a judge.
You can talk to an experienced family law attorney Carmelina Marin for help enforcing your child support order.
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