When your ex won’t pay the child support they’re supposed to, it can become extremely frustrating. In many cases, it can also become dangerous for your child if the money you’re expecting to care for them is suddenly no longer there.
If you find yourself in this situation, you need to take action to get the child support funds your child is entitled to receive. Here are 5 things you can do if your ex won’t pay the child support they are supposed to.
What to Do if Your Ex Won’t Pay Child Support
1. Talk to Them
Before taking any other action, try to talk to your ex about the missed payments to see if there is an extenuating circumstance that is preventing them from making the payments. While this may be difficult, it can help to avoid taking legal action. If your ex is unwilling to talk to you or does not have any possible valid excuse, you need to explain that you will be forced to take further action.
2. Gather the Appropriate Records
If your ex has not been paying for quite some time, you’ll want to gather the appropriate records to prove it. This can be in the form of deposit records or bank transfers. If your court order requires payments through the state, you can request the official record at the Office of the Attorney General which is available online. This is an easy way to prove that payments were not made.
3. Seek Legal Advice
Talk to a lawyer about what your options are in this situation. You need to decide whether you should decide to take your ex back to court or if there are other avenues you can pursue. You need to estimate how much going to court will cost and how long it will take to collect what is owed to you. Determining how much is owed can also help you decide if it’s worth it to go to court.
You can also seek help from the district attorney. According to the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984, district attorneys can help you collect court-ordered child support payments from a parent who refuses to pay child support. The district attorney will serve the delinquent parent with papers, asking them to meet so a payment arrangement can be made. If the instructions are ignored, the parent is also informed that they may face jail time.
4. Contact Your Local Government Child Support Agency
Every state has government agencies that can collect child support for you. Government agencies will typically enforce child support orders for free. The only issue you may run into is that these types of agencies typically receive a great deal of requests. It can take time to get the money you are owed which could result in trying to survive without child support for a long time.
5. Ask for an Income Withholding Order
An income withholding order requires an employer to deduct a certain amount of money from your ex’s pay before his paycheck is released. This way, you are guaranteed the child support money you are owed.
This can be done by a judge executing an order for an employer to withhold the money. This process can take 4-6 weeks to complete.
You can also look to see if other income can be withheld. This can be in the form of commission income, employment bonuses, and pension benefits. Doing this is a valid way of assuring you get the money you are owed.
The Bottom Line
When your ex is not paying the child support they are obligated to pay, you may have to explore one or more of these avenues to get results. Talking to them, gathering the appropriate paperwork, and asking for an income withholding order are all actions you can take. In the end, you need to get the child support you are entitled to so you can adequately take care of your child.