Non-custodial parents are required by law to provide some level of financial support (court ordered child support payments) to their children in any divorce decree. That being said, why are custodial parents owed nearly $20 billion in California alone? If you have hit a wall when it comes to collecting child support payments from your child’s parent, an experienced local attorney might be helpful.
Court Ordered Child Support Payments – Why?
Parents are obliged to provide for their children, whether or not they are, or have ever been, married. If an individual contests the claim of fatherhood, a paternity test can clear matters up rather quickly. At that point, some amount of child support is legally required for biological children. This court ordered child support is intended to assist in providing a home, food, clothing, and other basic needs. Even if earnings are minimal, the responsibility to contribute to that child’s well-being is indisputable, and court ordered child support payments will generally be enforced until that child is no longer a minor. Children with special needs may need support beyond that time.
What to do if Court Ordered Child Support Payments are Not Made
In many circumstances, parents work out among themselves how court ordered child support payments will be made. In other situations, parents are forced to ask for wages to be garnished in order to collect court-ordered child support. These earnings assignments direct an employer to withhold support payments from regular paychecks. Within 10 days of receiving the garnishment order, employers must begin holding back funds. Theses monies will be sent to the California State Disbursement Unit (SDU), and will ultimately be sent to the custodial parent.
If the Non-paying Spouse is Not Regularly Employed
A number of things can be done to motivate parents who are not making court-ordered child support payments, including:
- It can be reported to credit reporting agencies and impact the individual’s credit rating;
- Passport applications can be denied to persons owing $2,500 or more in back child support;
- Property liens may be filed against land or houses owned by the individual;
- Drivers’ licenses and state-issued professional licenses, such as those for cosmetology, teaching, contracting, medicine and others, may be withheld or revoked;
- Vehicles, boats, cash, and property can be taken by the Franchise Tax Board if late payments exceed $100 and are more than two months past due;
- Tax refunds can be intercepted.
- Unemployment and disability benefits can be captured;