Failing To Meet Child Support Obligations: What Are The Consequences?

Divorcing couples with minor-aged children usually must deal with the issue of child support. In all but a few rare instances, one party will end up paying a share of the cost for the care of the child. The amount ordered varies depending on where you live, the parent's income, and other factors. Regardless of what state you reside in, however, both the state and the federal government take a keen interest in forcing the parent who owes child support to pay up. Read on to learn more about the means available to enforce child support obligations.

Making Them Pay

While arrest warrants can be issued and the deadbeat parent can face jail time, that particular punishment seldom occurs. After all, it's impossible for the deadbeat parent to pay what they owe when they are behind bars. That doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of other ways to get money from a parent who is not meeting their child support obligation, however.

Income Tax Refund Withholding

Most people look forward to receiving their income tax refund each year. Those who are behind on their child support payments, however, may never see a dime of it. The IRS has the power to intercept the refunds of those who owe and provide it to the physical custodian of the child. Parents receiving child support should register with the child support enforcement agency in their area to ensure that the order is enforced.

Property Liens

A lien can be thought of as a hold on pieces of property. This hold prevents the owner from selling that property until the debt is paid. For example, a deadbeat parent who wants to sell their vehicle won't be able to do so while a lien is in place. Liens can be placed on homes, vehicles, boats, and almost any piece of property. For freezing a bank account, the term used is bank levy.

Wage Garnishment

When part of your paycheck is reduced before it comes to you, it might the result of a wage garnishment. A court order is required and the order is addressed to the parent's employer. The employer's payroll department is ordered to deduct a certain amount of funds from the pay before it goes to the employee. There are limits on the amount that can be removed. It should be noted that in many states, the child support award amount is routinely deducted from the parents pay and placed directly into the other parent's bank account. This can help cut down on incidences of non-payment of child support.

If your ex is behind on their child support obligation, speak to your child support attorney about taking legal action.