Enforcing Child Support
Although child support agreements are legally binding, many obligors of child support (those required to make payments to the parent with custody) do not follow through with their court-mandated payments. Their inaction leaves the custodial parent financially burdened. Because both parents have a legal responsibility to provide for their children until they turn eighteen, there are many ways government agencies can intervene in the event of a parent violating their child support agreement. While a parent who does not cooperate with their required payments could face penalties and jail time for their back child support, this option is a last resort. Non-custodial parents who have inadequate financial means for providing child support can request a modification of child support that would mandate payments of a lesser amount. Otherwise, parents who willfully withhold child support when they have the ability to pay are susceptible to a slew of enforcement methods from state and federal governments.
Shouldering the entire financial burden of raising your children can be extremely difficult, especially if a custodial parent lacks additional help and must stay home to look after the child. Enforcing child support can be taxing and complex. At The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, our dedicated child support lawyers empathize with the hardships of being a single parent and can help hold the obligor responsible for their child support violation. A lack of child support has a direct effect on a growing child’s education, health, and general well-being. These important consequences make it imperative that you contact knowledgeable legal counsel as soon as possible.
Ways of Enforcing Child Support
The federal and state governments are heavily involved in enforcing child support. Improvements in government databases, registries, and new hire reporting allow the government to track a non-paying parent’s location even if they move states. If you are a custodial parent and receiving welfare, you can enlist the state child support enforcement agency to demand payment from the uncooperative parent with the threat of criminal charges. Other ways you can enforce your child support agreement include:
- Automatic wage withholding
- Interception of a tax return
- Denial of a state license or U.S. passport until the debt is absolved
- Wage garnishment
- Seizure of property
- Property lien
If an obligor is still deliberately refusing to pay child support, the custodial parent can ask a judge for a hearing to hold them in contempt of the court. Failure to attend the hearing can result in a warrant for the non-paying parent’s arrest. Similarly, a judge can send an obligor to jail even if they did attend the hearing but failed to provide a convincing reason as to why they were withholding payments.
Contact a Fort Worth Child Support Attorney
Child support is a court-mandated agreement that must be paid for the well-being of the child. At The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, we can make sure you understand the different methods for enforcing child support and guide you through the legal process of holding a non-paying parent accountable. Don’t hesitate to contact our Fort Worth child support attorneys at (817) 335-9600 for more details.