Monday, April 22, 2024

Child Support Enforcement

Child Support Enforcement

If you need to locate that deadbeat parent or obtain there true Social Security number to provide it to the courts, WE CAN HELP.

In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, parents that are divorced (or separated if they were never married) have an ongoing legal obligation to support their children. Sadly, too many kids grow up without the financial support they need when parents fail to pay court-ordered child support.
Now more than ever, it’s becoming harder for deadbeat parents to skip out on child support. Strict laws have been enacted to establish and enforce child support orders. And federal, state and local agencies have powerful child-support collection tools at their disposal.

Establishing Child Support

You must first get a court order to establish child support – there are several ways to do this. First, you and your child’s other parent can agree on an appropriate amount (usually set by your state’s guidelines) for support. A judge must approve your agreement and turn it into an official court order.

If you and your child’s other parent can’t agree, you’ll have to ask a Judge or local agency to set the amount. You can hire an experienced attorney in your area to file a request for a child support order.
If you can’t afford an attorney, don’t give up hope. Your state or local child support service office (referred to as the “Department of Child Support Services” or the “Office of Child Support Services”) can help parents establish, enforce, collect and modify child support orders.

Enforcing Child Support

Once established, a child support order must be obeyed. If not, custodial parents may ask an attorney or their local Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) (also called the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) in some states) for help. A delinquent parent may be subject to any, or all, of the following enforcement tools:

Wage Deductions – the custodial parent, his or her attorney, or OCSS can request an income withholding order or wage assignment. With a wage deduction, child support is taken directly out of the non-custodial (paying) parent’s wages.

Federal Income Tax Intercepts – the state can intercept a large tax refund to cover late or missing child support payments.

License Suspensions and Revocations – a delinquent parent’s driver’s license(s) and/or professional license(s) may be revoked.

Passport Restrictions – a parent that fails to pay child support may be prevented from renewing his or her passport (and therefore prevented from leaving the country).

Contempt of Court – this is a legal order that may result in a fine or jail time for the parent who failed to make court-ordered support payments. However, the custodial parent (or his or her attorney) must go to court to obtain this order from a judge.

Federal Prosecution of Deadbeat Parents
The U.S. Office of the Inspector General (OIG) can intervene in child-support cases where the non-custodial (paying) parent lives in a state other than where the child lives, and:
refuses to pay child support for over 1 year where the amount owing is more than $5000, or where the non-custodial parent travels to another state or country to avoid paying child support.
The punishment include fines and up to 6 months in prison (or both) for a first offense. For a second offense, or where child support hasn’t been paid for more than 2 years, or the amount owing is more than $10,000, the punishment is a fine of up to $250,000 or 2 years in prison, or both.

Getting Help

You can talk to an experienced family law attorney for help enforcing your child support order.
If you can’t afford an attorney, contact your local OCSS to see if they can help collect child support using one of the enforcement methods mentioned above.