Smart Strategies to Enforce Child Support Orders

Enforcing child support orders is sometimes difficult, frustrating, and expensive for the custodial parent. The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 granted district attorneys and state attorney generals the authority to pursue non-custodial parents to collect back child support on behalf of custodial parents.

The goal of this act is to encourage non-custodial parents to pay the ordered amount of support by making options for collection available to custodial parents. A child support attorney is a good choice when pursuing collection options. In accordance with the Act, the following measures may be taken against a non-custodial parent.

1)Garnishment of wages – Most child support orders require employers and payers of funds to automatically withhold basic support, medical support, and spousal support obligations from an obligor’s income.

2)Liens against property or real estate – The state child support agency may place a lien for unpaid support on real and personal property, including houses and vehicles.

3)Reporting the debtor to credit bureaus – States are required to periodically report the names of noncustodial parents and child support information to consumer reporting agencies whether or not they are in arrears.

4)Insurance match – The federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) also works with the insurance industry to match insurance claimants (and beneficiaries) to child support obligors in order to help states in the collection of child support.

5)Civil and Criminal Contempt – States also use civil contempt actions, incarceration, criminal contempt and bench warrants to enforce child support payment compliance.

6)Seizure of Assets and Benefits – Child support agencies can seize various assets including public and private retirement funds, checking, savings and other accounts held by financial institutions, as a way of enforcing child support orders.

7)Jail time – Jail time is considered a last resort as a jailed parent is not likely to make regular payments, but the threat of jail time or criminal prosecution is a strong deterrent for many deadbeat parents who fail to make court order child support payments.

Some states have begun shaming deadbeat parents. Riverside Family Court posts information online about deadbeat parents including their picture, name and delinquent amount due.

There are many good strategies for collecting child support which a good child support lawyer can help you to identify and to take the appropriate action(s).