Recent statistics have shown that, despite orders to pay child support, more than a quarter of custodial parents never see such money from their children’s fathers or mothers. Although some have reasons as to why they cannot pay, others simply decide to run or do not pay because they feel the money is requested more for spite than for the raising of their child. The good news is that if your former spouse has decided to skip out and not pay his or her child support to help in the raising of his own child, there are ways you can attempt to recover the money owed by collecting back child support.
Collecting Back Child Support
It is true that anyone can run into financial troubles from time to time and not be able to pay his or her child support as ordered. However, it is necessary for the person to catch up once his financial troubles have been eliminated or cleared from the picture. If you are missing back child support in this situation or any other situation where the child’s father or mother simply does not want to pay for his or her obligations, there are some ways you can try to get this money without the other having a say so in the matter. Legally the child's parentis obligated to pay you the money and has no say if there is a court order in existence telling him to do so. Some of the ways you may attempt to collect on back child support when the other parent refuses to pay include:
- File a Contempt of Court Hearing: In this scenario, a judge will hear the story from both sides regarding the back child support payments and make a decision as to whether the non-custodial parent is in contempt of court. If the non-custodial parent is found to be in contempt and willfully refusing to pay child support, the sentence can be heavy. In some states this means jail time or work release, as well as an order for payment to be made for the back support.
- Property Liens: You can also place a lien on physical property that the other parent owns in order to get the amount of back child support that is owed. These liens can be placed on cars and pieces of physical property.
- Wage Garnishment or Income Withholding: This is the way to go if you know where your former spouse is currently working. Provide employment information to your local child support enforcement agency and the agency can then go through the process of taking the money immediately from his or her wages before he even sees his paycheck.
- Tax Seizures: If your former spouse generally receives money back at income tax time, you can file to seize the amount of his or her return to make up for back child support. However, be prepared to wait a while if your former spouse has remarried. The law states that the new spouse has the right to file a claim to a portion of the money before all of it is taken and given to you.
- Bank Account Seizures: In some states, the former spouse’s bank account can be seized, like his tax return, and the money is then paid to you to make up for the back child support that is due.
If you are owed back child support, you should contact a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you to take the steps necessary to collect the money you are owed in as timely a manner as possible.