Once a child support order is issued, monthly payments are enforceable. Unfortunately, there is no fail safe way to ensure those payments are actually made. Child support not paid, also called arrearage, must be paid back with a 10% interest rate per year.
The only way for child support payments to stop are:
- If the parental rights are signed over to another parental figure willing to take on the financial responsibility, or
- If the child turns 18 or is 19 and no longer attending high school full time.
That being said, almost nothing can stop child support payments however they can be modified when there has been a significant change in circumstances, like a lost job or in light of extra expenses.
To have child support modified, you must request a modification through the court and have a judge issue a modified child support order before any new payment amount is in effect. Even with the option to modify, child support sometimes goes unpaid for a variety of reasons.
There are a few things you can do to enforce a child support order and ensure child support payments are made and arrearage is repaid. Keep excellent records of what support is not paid and when. Your child support services agency can also help you request an audit of your child support payment history to determine exactly how much is in arrearage.
An experienced family law attorney or your local child support services agency can help you take action to enforce the order, ensure the payments are made and arrearage is paid back. Wage assignments can be issued, also called wage garnishments, to include current child support payments plus an additional amount to pay back the arrearage. Similarly, liens or tax diversions can be issued to ensure certain assets of the payor of the child support are diverted into child support arrearage.
If all else fails, and the payor repeatedly disobeys the child support order issued by the court, they can be found in contempt of court. Contempt of court is a criminal action and is punishable as such, by jail time and/or fines and penalties. While it is hard to ensure child support payments are made, there are agencies and resources that can help you recover arrearage and resolve other issues with your child support case. Take action as soon as you know your payments aren’t being made to ensure your child is getting the financial support they deserve.
Are you in Los Angles County and have some questions about back child support? Certified Family Law Specialist Mark H. Karney has experience with complex child support issues and knows how to ensure your child’s best interests are looked out for. Representing individuals in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, Mark H. Karney will listen to your case and, based off your needs, will take action to ensure you receive the outcome you deserve. Call our office at 310-622-9434; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.