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Enforcing a child support order: What you need to know

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2022 | Child Support |

When a couple with children legally separates, the non-custodial parent is usually required to provide financial support to the parent living with the children. Such support includes the payment of the child’s school, health and care expenses.

Child support is not optional. Once the court rules on the amount of child support, the paying parent is legally obligated to make the payments, and like all other court orders, it is enforceable. If your co-parent is not meeting their end of the deal, the courts can help out in several ways.

How do courts enforce child support orders?

There are several ways through which the courts can make a negligent parent pay their child support. Some of them are listed below.

  • Wage garnishment, whereby the court orders their employer to withhold a certain amount of money that will go to offset child support bills.
  • Liens on property. A lien tells everyone that another party has a claim on the property. Therefore, selling off such an asset or getting a loan off it can be complicated. The pending payments have to be made for the lien to be removed.
  • Suspension of occupational or driving licenses.
  • Denial of passport. The parent with pending child support payments may not be able to renew or apply for a passport.
  • Interest on pending payments to prevent further delays.

Other ways not listed here may be utilized by the court to enforce child support payment. For instance, the defaulting parent can be held in contempt of court and even face criminal prosecution for willfully failing to pay up.

Protecting your children’s welfare

Child support is meant for the children’s maintenance and well-being. If your co-parent is not financially supportive, you might end up under a lot of pressure, which is bound to affect the children.

Therefore, it is important to know how to enforce these orders and make your co-parent step up by providing the necessary support.


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