When parents get divorced, the non-custodial parent must pay child support since it is assumed the custodial parent will contribute to the children’s expenses. If your former spouse stops paying child support, however, you may find yourself in a tough predicament. Before you go to court, bring up the matter with your former spouse. If your ex truly cannot fulfill this financial obligation due to an unforeseen change of circumstances, such as the loss of a job, you might want to work out an agreement to temporarily reduce payments. However, you should confirm that these claims are valid before you agree to anything.
Enforcing the Child Support Order
If your ex does not have a legitimate reason for failing to pay child support, you should not hesitate to hire an attorney and take your case to court. Even if your ex is still employed, but intentionally took a lower-paying job in an attempt to lower these payments, a judge can still impute income to your former spouse and enforce the current order.
There are several ways in which a judge can enforce a child support order. Depending on the amount involved, the method of enforcement and penalties may be quite severe.
Here are some ways in which a judge might enforce the child support order:
- The court may issue a wage reduction, which will be sent to your ex’s employer to ensure the amount is taken directly out of the parent’s wages and given to you.
- The state may intercept your former spouse’s tax refund to cover missed child support payments.
- As a penalty, the state may also revoke your former spouse’s driver’s license. Passport agencies may also refuse to renew your ex’s passport.
- A judge may hold your former spouse in contempt of court, resulting in jail time or a fine.
Under federal law, a delinquent parent can receive up to six months in prison if more than $5,000 is owed, the parent refused to pay child support for over a year, or the parent left the country to avoid fulfilling child support obligations.
Call Our Law Office for the Experienced Legal Representation You Deserve
If your former spouse stopped paying child support, do not hesitate to secure skilled legal counsel to help ensure the order is enforced. At Nichols Dixon PLLC, our family law firm is committed to helping clients navigate some of the most sensitive legal matters. You can rely on us to provide the strong legal support you need to secure the best results.
Reach out to our law office today at (405) 294-1511 to set up a consultation to discuss the details of your case.