How Do I Enforce Child Support Payments If My Ex Won’t Pay?

Although a parent has been ordered to pay child support, it does not necessarily mean they will follow through once they leave the courtroom. In some cases, a spouse who is entitled to receive child support might need to take legal action in order to obtain their child support payments. In this blog, we explain how to enforce child support when your ex refuses pay.

Under the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984, prosecuting attorneys are allowed to help a person collect court-ordered child support from a parent who is unwilling to pay. The prosecuting attorney will usually serve the parent with papers, which many times results in the person behind in child support setting up a payment arrangement. Although the papers contain a warning that jail is a possibility if the payments are not made, it is usually used as a last resort if the payments continue to be missed.

Other consequences that can be imposed for failure to pay include:

  • Seizing property
  • Suspending an occupational license
  • Garnishing wages
  • Withholding federal tax refunds
  • Suspending a business license
  • Revocation of driver's license

The U.S. Department of State can also deny a passport to anyone who owes more than $2,500 in child support.

If a parent continues to miss their child support payments, the court can hold them in contempt for failing to adhere to a court mandated order.

What About Past Due Support?

Courts can also order a parent to pay past due child support. An overdue amount of child support is called "arrearage," while the payer is said to be "in arrears." Payers who find themselves in arrears can seek a reduction of their future payments from the judge. Only future payments can be reduced, meaning the paying parent is still obligated to pay the arrearages in full.

Talk to a Lawyer

At Galmiche Law Firm, P.C., our Chesterfield divorce attorney can help you obtain past due child support from your ex. We can assess the circumstances of your case and petition for the financial support you are entitled to.

Call (636) 552-4841 to request your free consultation with our St. Louis family law lawyer.

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