Child support for a struggling parent can be crucial to caring for their child, so when child support payments wane or stop altogether, this can be detrimental to the livelihood of the child (or children). So what steps should be taken when child support payments are not being made in full?
Whether it be due to a disappearance, unemployment, or mere negligence, failure to pay child support is sadly not a rare occurrence in this country. While the Department of Revenue has a number of payment methods in place for people in various stages of their lives, many people are still delinquent on their payments and families suffer as a consequence.
The first step should be contacting the payee yourself. Find out why they are not paying and see if some sort of agreement can be made so that the full amount can be paid at some point in the near future.
Something is better than nothing, so if you are having difficulty getting all of the money owed to you, ask for it in installments instead. While do you deserve all of the money mandated by the court, many exes find it easier to get regular payments when they only request a little bit at a time.
Many people are tempted to push the delinquent parent out of the child’s life. While this mentality makes sense (if you don’t pay, you don’t get the benefit of seeing your child), sometimes it can actually have a negative effect. If the parent is struggling to pay the child support, allowing them to continue spending time with their child will remind them why it is important for them to pay, and it will cause them to be more likely to make up for missed payments when they do have the money.
It is best to attempt to address the problem yourself before getting the courts involved. This can save money on lawyer fees if the dispute can be easily resolved. However, according to US News:
If your ex isn’t making any effort to pay, it’s usually after six months when a county sheriff will begin enforcing child support, assuming the support is currently being paid through wage execution or the probation department…
The enforcement agency will need to verify the actual dollar amount that is owed to you at this time before they can attempt to collect the money. While it may be difficult for them to get all of the past-due support to you at once, they will work their hardest to at least get the payments due for the current month.
Property liens and income withholding are good tactics for ensuring that the parent pays child support on time every month. Contact your attorney to see if these are viable options.
The attorneys at Revelli & Luzzo are well-versed in family law, and therefore have extensive knowledge of how child support payments work. Contact us today, and we can help you get the money that you and your child deserve.