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Do you understand how child support is enforced?

The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 goes a long way in helping people collect child support from another parent or ex-spouse who refuses to follow a court order.

Of course, there is more to this law than meets the eye. As somebody attempting to collect child support, it's imperative to know your options and how the court may react.

Generally speaking, there are several ways to ensure that child support is paid. While a jail sentence is a possible penalty, this is typically a last resort. Instead, the following are imposed first:

-- Garnishing wages.

-- Withholding federal tax refunds to use the money to pay support.

-- Seizing property.

-- Suspending a business license or occupational license.

Along with the above, here's a little known fact: The United States Department of State can deny the issuance of a passport in the event that a person owes $2,500 or more in back child support.

If you are due child support on a monthly basis, you hope that the other party pays in full and on time. However, if this doesn't happen for any reason, it's good to know that the court can take steps in helping you collect.

Although you may believe you will never run into issues with collecting child support, it's hard to say what the future holds. There could come a point when a former spouse no longer wants to pay support, thus leading you to consider all your options. If this happens, make sure you know the steps to take to move forward as quickly as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Enforcement of Child Support: FAQ's," accessed Aug. 04, 2016

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Commandments of Family Law

  1. The only truth your children need to know is that you both love them unconditionally, and that this isn't their fault.
  2. Take the high road — everyone wins when you do what's best for your kids.
  3. Negotiate but don't capitulate — if you are being pushed toward something detrimental for your children, stand your ground.
  4. You can only control yourself and how you respond. Don't engage.
  5. Do set up rules and responsibilities. Kids feel better when routine is continued.
  6. You are still their parent — don't be afraid to be one.
  7. Disneyland is in California, not in your home. Don't set up unreasonable expectations.
  8. It is not their job to take care of you. Repeat that to them. Often.
  9. Yelling is for sports — not court. Good lawyers strongly advocate without being disrespectful to opposing parties.
  10. Fair is a place you go to get cheese curds. Aside from that, nothing in life is fair.

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