Steps to Take When Child Support Payments are Past Due
Unfortunately, it is not unusual for there to be issues with one parent failing to fulfill his or her obligations of paying child support. If these issues start to become chronic, there are several steps that you can take to ensure you get the support payments you need.
- Wage garnishment: When child support orders are issued, courts can order that the amount of child support paid per month be automatically taken out of the wages of the paying parent. This is called “wage garnishment,” and it is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that this deduction occurs. This money is then sent to the state child support enforcement agency to be delivered to the parent with custody. However, wage garnishment may not be an option for parents that are self-employed, unemployed or do not receive paychecks.
- Enforcement through a local child support agency: Your local child support agency will have a variety of ways to get you the money you need. They can put a lien on bank accounts or real property, intercept a variety of benefits or funds (tax refunds, disability, unemployment, etc.), suspend licenses, deny passports and more. If the parent disappears, the child support agency has the ability to track them down.
- Contempt of court: If a parent continues to fail to make payments, a court can hold them in contempt. This could result in fines or jail time.
If you are experiencing difficulties with parent being delinquent with his or her child support obligations, your first step should be to contact a skilled family law attorney. The Maryland lawyers at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A. can help you address these issues swiftly and effectively.