child support enforcement

The Child Support Enforcement Process: What a Lawyer Can Do For You

Imagine having to beg your employer for your paycheck every two weeks so that you can feed your child. Just like you shouldn’t have to beg your employer for your paycheck, you shouldn’t have to beg your former partner for child support payments. Child support is necessary, as a parental responsibility. It’s paid to make sure that your child or children are taken care of by both parents in the event of a divorce.  Having written and  agreed-to guidelines is essential to resolve or stop conflict regarding child support. Each state has guidelines for child support payments. That being said, this is something that can, and should, be resolved easily. With the right legal guidance. And, just as you wouldn’t enter into a business contract or salary negotiation with a handshake, child support agreement should be in writing. Child support is a legally binding contract. If the child support payments are late or missing, there are potential legal consequences. Child support gives you and your child legal protection to obtain these payments. To make sure that you receive child support payments, lawyers may use the child support enforcement process. There are many different processes that lawyers can use to help with this. They include:

Garnishment of Wages

One of the less harsh enforcement tactics that a lawyer can use is wage garnishment. A wage garnishment is when the court instructs your employer to take out and set aside a certain amount of money from your paycheck to cover a financial obligation that you are trying to avoid. In this case, the court would facilitate the wage garnishment for child support and send the money to your former partner.

Reporting Missing or Late Child Support Payments to Credit Bureaus

A big factor in determining your credit score is your ability to make payments on a loan over a time period. Just like any other financial obligation, failing to make child support payments can negatively impact your credit. Another option to help get someone to pay child support is reporting their late or missing payments to the credit bureaus. Ultimately resulting in a lower credit score which impacts ability to be accepted for new loans.

Suspension of Drivers License

A harsher enforcement tactic that a lawyer can use is the suspension of a driver’s license. The result of this enforcement can have life-altering impacts. Driving is a huge part of the lives of most Americans. Just like many other aspects of our day to day life, driving is a privilege, not a right. Which means it can be taken away. Some states can compel people to pay their child support by suspending their license if they don’t comply with the payments. In addition, some states also go as far as suspending professional licenses that many individuals rely on for their line of work.

Jail Time

If all else fails, an extreme circumstance of not paying child support can result in some serious jail time. Sometimes the threat of jail time is enough to compel individuals to pay their child support and stick with it. Threat of jail time can seem like a harsh punishment but your lawyer can advise you on the best option so that you are able to resolve the problem. 

Inability or unwillingness to pay child support can be stressful for the parent primarily responsible for the child and can cause hardship on the child. Having a child support agreement in writing that is enforced can help to get the situation fully resolved so that the child or children are well taken care of.