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Enforcement of child support: What are your options?

Even when a noncustodial parent is ordered by the court to make child support payments, it doesn't mean that he or she will actually do so. For one reason or another, there could come a point when you realize that you are not going to receive payments as required by law.

As the custodial parent, you should look into the action you can take in order to receive the money you deserve. The court can impose a variety of consequences for failure to make child support payments, such as:

  • Wage garnishment
  • Withholding federal income tax refunds
  • Seizing property
  • Suspending a business or occupational license
  • Revoking the person's driver's license
  • The denial of a passport

While it doesn't happen often, if the person still fails to pay what he or she owes, the court has the legal right to impose a jail term. This is a last resort, as the court realizes that it's next to impossible for a parent to make child support payments while serving time in jail.

No one wants to go through a divorce. Just the same, no one wants to find that the other parent is not willing to pay the child support required by the court.

If you find yourself in this difficult spot, you need to do what is best for you and your child. This could mean taking the person to court, all with the idea of obtaining back child support payments along with those that are due to you in the future. It's a must to protect your legal rights, no matter what it takes.

Source: FindLaw, "Enforcement of Child Support: FAQ's," accessed June 14, 2018

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