How Do I Enforce a Child Support Order?

When you finalize a divorce decree with the court and a child support order is put into effect, those orders are finalized until the court directs otherwise. The unfortunate truth is however, that many people do now respect the courts authority and they either make late support payments or they ignore the court order altogether. Under California law parents are obligated to provide for their children until the child reaches the age of emancipation and is able to care and provide for themselves. If the other parent is refusing to pay you or is saying that they can no longer afford the support payments, then legal action must be taken to rectify the situation. In cases of this nature, the court will either decide to modify the child support order or they will enforce the order and collect the support using other means. If you are looking for assistance in enforcing a court order, then our Valencia divorce attorney can help you.

Enforcing a Court Order

The first step in enforcing a court order is to obtain an assertive legal advocate who is experienced in this area. Our attorneys can help you determine which enforcement method would be best for your particular situation. The main goal is to establish a regular payment plan so that you have consistent income in order to provide for your child. In cases where the other parent refuses to contribute to the financial support of the child, then we can go to the court for assistance. The court has several enforcement methods up their sleeve that they can implement if necessary. The most common methods of enforcement include:

  • Wage garnishment
  • Income tax refunds
  • License suspension
  • Liens
  • Contempt of court
  • Federal prosecution

The state has the right to take the overdue support out of the parent's paycheck or tax refund if necessary. The court can also suspend any driving or professional licenses that are under the parent's name and they can revoke them until the payments resume. In situations where the parent does not respond or comply with the court's attempts to collect payment, then the individual could be found in contempt of court and face a civil court action. Being found in contempt could result in serious legal fines or even jail time. When a non-custodial parent fails to pay child support for up to a year, then the court may result to federal prosecution and charge them with a felony offense- the parent's sentence will be left to the discretion of the prosecutor. AS you can see, there are many different options when it comes to enforcing a support order and each one varies in forcefulness. Speak to a Valencia divorce attorney today to see which enforcement method would be right for you.