After a divorce, a parent may be ordered to pay child support in order to help with the housing, education, and basic upbringing of their child. Usually these obligations are fulfilled, but there are many cases in which parents fail to make child support payments on time. When this happens, the Ogden, UT attorneys of Froerer & Miles can help.
We’d like to take a few moments to consider laws regarding delinquent child support and how they benefit custodial parents. We’ll then discuss how back child support may be collected from deadbeats.
Laws on Child Support
The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 is a federal law that aids in the collection of child support to benefit the custodial parent. This federal law works in conjunction with state and county laws to help ensure child support is received by the custodial parent and, when necessary, to penalize the deadbeat parent for their failure to meet their obligations.
Jail time is a potential penalty for delinquent child support payments, but it is usually considered a last resort since the goal is to ensure the child support is collected. A deadbeat parent must pay back the child support owed in full, even if their child/children are now 18 years old or older.
Court Order to Collect Back Child Support
The first step in collecting back child support is to file a court order. This written or oral statement to the judge will formally demand back child support from the deadbeat parent. The judge will then order the back child support to be paid.
It’s a good idea to consult with an Ogden family law attorney when filing a court order. They can help with the wording of your statement and let you know about any other relevant issues that should be discussed when formally seeking child support you’re owed.
How Overdue Child Support Is Collected
There are many ways that child support may be collected from the delinquent parent. If the parent is unable to pay the full amount on their own, enforcement measures could include:
- Garnishing wages from paychecks
- Liens against property
- Freezing the deadbeat parent’s bank accounts
- Reporting the deadbeat parent to credit bureaus
- Finding the deadbeat parent in contempt of court
If child support cannot be collected through any of these means, the parent may face jail time. It’s possible for a parent to face jail time in addition to the above penalties if the case is particularly egregious.
Why It’s Important to Consult a Lawyer
The law is on your side if you are a custodial parent who is owed child support payments. However, the legal system can be tricky, and figuring out the right steps to take in order to collect child support may be more complicated than you realize.
By working with a child support attorney, you can avoid missteps and headaches and receive the child support you are owed sooner. It’s just a sensible decision to have a child support attorney on your side as soon as the deadbeat parent of your child is delinquent.
Contact Our Law Firm
For more information about recovering child support and holding a former spouse accountable, be sure to contact our team of family law attorneys. The team at Froerer & Miles can be reached in Ogden by phone at (801) 621-2690.