It can be a tough situation, especially during the holidays, if you aren?t receiving any financial support to help provide for your children. If you are struggling and need help, there are legal steps you can take if the other parent stops making child support payments.
Under the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984, state?s attorneys or district attorneys must help you collect the child support owed to you. Federal law allows for the interception of the other parent?s tax refunds to enforce the order of child support. Other methods include wage garnishments, seizing property, and revoking the non-paying parent?s driver?s license.
The Child Support Recovery Act of 1984 makes it a Federal misdemeanor offense for a person to willfully fail to pay a past due support obligations. An amendment to this law also established felony violations for a parent traveling state to state or in a foreign country to evade a child support obligations, or for failing to pay a child support obligation which is greater than $2,500, or has remained unpaid for a period of longer than 2 years.
Tax Refund Interception
If the other parent is behind in paying child support for your children, the IRS can take their tax refund to cover the past due amount. The IRS then gives the money to the child support agency.
This is the most common method for collecting back due child support and is similar to a wage withholding. A portion of the other parent?s wages is removed from their paycheck and delivered to you before they even get their paycheck. For unpaid child support, up to 50% can be taken, and up to 60% if they do not have another child to support.
If the wage garnishment does not cover the amount owed, or the other parent does not have wages or other income to be garnished, you may try to get the support owed by going after other items or their property.
Vulnerable property can include: cars, motorcycles, boats, airplanes, houses, corporate stock, horses, rent paid other people to the parent, and any accounts receivable.
Liens of Property
If you are owed child support, you can place a lien on the other parent?s property. Usually, you have to file a lien with the same office where the property is registered and recorded. The lien remains in place until the child is no longer entitled to support and all the back child support has been paid. Even though some states require that the custodial parent obtain a judgment for the amount of the back support before putting a lien on the property, most states allow liens to be imposed on property when court-ordered payments have been missed.
Working It Out on Your Own
Sometimes it?s best for all involved to work things out in a way that is agreeable to both parties. Understanding the nature of the problem and the intention of the parent to make payments on time can avoid bad feelings that come up when you get lawyers and the courts involved. However, if a mutual agreement cannot be reached, then it?s time to contact an attorney for assistance.
At the Law Offices of Barbara Sherer, we are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients. We specialize in family law, so if you need help collecting child support or have any other questions; please CONTACT our office today for a legal consultation.