Ex Not Paying Child Support? Know What Steps You Need To Take

Posted on: 4 December 2020

Child support orders are unlike any other divorce provision because they are backed up with both state and federal laws to ensure compliance, identification of parents, and dire consequences for not paying what is owed. If your ex is not obeying court-ordered child support provisions, read on to find out where to turn and what to do.

Dependent on the Funds

Unfortunately, not all custodial parents have the means to provide food, shelter, clothing, and the medical needs of a child. Child support places the responsibility for providing for the child on both parents. However, the parent with the most financial means may be asked to do more. When that support is taken away, the receiving parent and child are bound to suffer.

How Government Agencies Get Involved

Not only are children considered vulnerable and innocent, but they are protected by laws for another reason. When a parent is unable to make ends meet, they often turn to government agencies for help. Strict child support enforcement laws turn the table so that a parent is not as dependent on government aid like food stamps and housing assistance.

Steps to Take When Child Support Stops

  1. Talk to your ex and find out what is going on. They may have lost their job, are ill, or have other reasons that may be temporary. However, you should not contact your ex's employer. That could place their job in jeopardy and could remove that funding source.
  2. Talk to your attorney. They can remind your spouse of the legal ramifications of not complying with the child support orders.
  3. Your lawyer may request a hearing if your ex is claiming a job loss and child support may be recalculated. Be certain that your ex is being honest about their financial status.
  4. Contact your local child enforcement agency. They help parents by locating uninvolved ex's, finding parental hidden assets, and issuing arrest warrants.
  5. If a parent has the ability to pay, steps can be taken to garnish their wages. This is done via a court order and directs the ex's employer to remove a certain percentage of their pay before they are paid.
  6. If your ex is owed a tax refund, that money can be seized and paid toward back child support.
  7. Other common consequences for failing to pay child support include loss of a drivers' license, loss of government aid, arrest, and jail.

To find out more about what you can do when child support stops, speak to your lawyer. A child support attorney can provide additional information.