Child support is intended for the care and needs of the child. For that reason, it is important that child support obligations are enforced. Parents should be familiar with how child support orders are enforced.
Once there is a valid child support order in place, it is enforceable. The child support order will specify the amount of support to be paid and the frequency of child support payments. Though a child support order is in place, it does not mean that the noncustodial parent will comply with the order. That is when child support enforcement measures can come into play.
Income withholding is the most effective child support enforcement method. Income withholding refers to when an employer deducts a specific amount from the parent’s income to pay child support. Income withholding may be directed by employers or others if the parent receives unemployment insurance benefits, workers’ compensation, Social Security benefits or veteran’s disability benefits.
Other child support enforcement measures include monthly billing for noncustodial parents who do not have any income withholding. State and federal tax refunds can also be intercepted to pay unpaid child support. Credit bureau reporting of unpaid child support obligations is another enforcement mechanism. Claims may be made on real or personal property belonging to the noncustodial parent. A court action can also be filed against a noncustodial parent who fails to pay child support.
Child support enforcement resources help ensure children receive the child support resources they need. Child support modification resources may also be available in certain situations when needed. Parents should be familiar with the range of family law resources to help them with their family law concerns including child support.