Support & Custody Enforcement Attorney in Valencia
Valencia Divorce Lawyer
Has the other parent or ex-spouse failed to abide by the conditions of your court order? When the court holds a ruling on matters of child custody or child support, those orders are considered to be final unless the court approves a modification. Once a court order of custody or support is established, the most you can do is hope that the other party respects the court's authority by obeying the order. If they fail to uphold their end of the agreement however, there are ways to enforce the order. To learn more about the specific enforcement actions available in your state, speak with a Valencia divorce attorney from our office today. We can inform you of the different methods and help determine which the right option for you is.
Child Support Enforcement Methods
If the other parent has failed to pay you their child support payments on time or they have stopped paying altogether, then there are other means of collecting the money that is rightfully owed to you. The enforcements range in forcefulness from simple allocations of their financial assets to a jail sentence. The most common child support enforcement methods in California include:
Wage garnishment- This is a way of withholding their income. The court must direct the non-custodial parent's employer to start deducting the appropriate amount of child support from their wages until the overdue support is paid in full. This money can be taken out of their paycheck and can be done every pay period to ensure that you receive the court ordered support that you deserve.
Income tax refunds- The overdue child support payments can also be taken out the non-custodial parent's state or federal tax refund. The court could also intercept the parent's unemployment insurance, pension, annuities, retirement benefits, disability insurance, or lottery winnings in order to retrieve the support that is owed to you.
License suspensions- According to the Welfare Reform Act of 1996, the state is permitted to revoke, suspend or withhold the licenses under the name of the non-custodial parent. This could include their personal driver's license, professional license, or any recreational license. They can also revoke their passport if the support arrears are more than $5,000.
Liens- In order to collect back support, you may also be able to place a lien on their property which will ensure that the debt will be paid before the real estate or property can be refinanced or sold.
Contempt of court- If the non-custodial parent has not responded to any of your efforts and continues to resist paying support, then you can take a civil court action against them. File a request for contempt charges with the court so that your matter can be heard in front of a judge. At this hearing you are requesting that they be found in contempt of court which could result in jail time.
Federal prosecution for a felony- If the non-custodial parent has gone a full year without paying their court ordered child support payments, then they could be facing felony charges. At this point, criminal charges can be filed which could result in jail/prison time or whatever sentence the prosecutor finds appropriate.
Child Custody Enforcement Options
If you and the other parent are not married the court will help arrange a child custody or visitation schedule so that the child can spend time with both parents. In many cases however, at least one parent refuses to cooperate and chooses not to allow the other parent time with the child. In cases of this nature, you can turn to the court for help- judges have several different enforcement tools at their disposal. With the help of an experienced child custody attorney and the assistance of the court, you may be able to get your custody agreement back on the right track. The most common methods to enforce a custody order include:
Habeas Corpus- In Latin this literally means, "you have the body." Habeas corpus is a writ that forces the other parent to bring the child to the court so that custody issues can be worked out. By petitioning for this writ you are stating that the other parent has violated your custody rights and must return your child to you.
Contempt of Court- Again by request contempt charges you are pointing out that the other parent has disobeyed and failed to respect the court's authority. The judge can then decide whether or not to fine that person in contempt of court. The other parent could face legal consequences including a fine or a jail sentence.
Posting a bond- In order to force the other parent to comply with the custody order, the court may post a bond to see that the child is returned to the other parent.
Money damages & criminal liability- the court may be able to press criminal charges or seek money damages because the parent interfered with the custody and visitation agreement.
***It is important to remember that child support and child custody orders are completely separate entities. If the other parent has stopped making their child support payments, you are not allowed to temporarily deny them access to the children. By keeping the children from them you could also be found in contempt of court.
Are you searching for a lawyer for an enforcement case in Valencia? If you would like to precede with any of the above enforcement methods, please do not hesitate to contact a Valencia enforcement attorney from our firm.