There are a variety of ways of enforcing a child support order which are important for parents who pay or receive child support to be familiar with. Because child support is for the support, care and maintenance of the child, it is important that it is paid and that parents know how to go about resolving child support concerns using available family law tools.
Child support enforcement methods
There are several methods of child support enforcement including:
- Seizure of the non-paying parent’s bank accounts;
- Seizure of the non-paying parent’s personal injury award or workers’ compensation benefits;
- Interception of the non-paying parent’s lottery winnings;
- Liens against the non-paying parent’s property;
- Seizure of the non-paying parent’s driver’s license or professional, occupational or recreational license. This can include hunting and fishing licenses;
- Denial of a passport request for the non-paying parent;
- Reporting to the credit bureau;
- Publication of the non-paying parent’s name in the newspaper as a delinquent parent;
- The non-paying parent may be held in civil contempt of court; and
- A jail sentence of up to six months, a fine up to $500 or probation for up to six months.
The consequences for failure to pay child support can be significant and the enforcement mechanisms in place can help ensure child support is paid. The consequences of a failure to pay child support can also be significant for the child who does not receive the support they need. There are a variety of different options to help with child support concerns available through the family law system, ranging from child support collection to child support modification, that parents should be familiar with to help address their child support needs.