When It's Over,
It's time to move on
Parents Cannot Get Out Of Paying Child Support
A child support lawyer knows that parents who are ordered to pay child support sometimes fail to make any payments and end up owing back child support and interest as well. While court-ordered child support terminates when the child reaches the age of majority or finishes high school in some cases, the parent’s obligation to pay back child support does not end at that point and the paying parent is still legally required to pay the receiving parent any back child support that is owed.
Other than waiting for voluntary payments on back child support, parents who are owed the money can seek the payments through court. However, if the parent required to pay child support claims is not employed or keeps ignoring the court’s order to pay, it can be difficult to force payments.
There are some penalties the court can impose on the delinquent parent, such as taking away the parent’s driver’s license, passport, or professional license to compel payment.
Parents who owe back child support cannot discharge the obligation to pay back child support or future payments by filing for bankruptcy. This is true of money owed for alimony. In addition, back child support payments can be taken out of tax refunds and lottery wins and distributed to the other parent.
Government Assistance and Child Support
If a parent with primary responsibility applies for government assistance, most states require the parent provide information on the other parent. The state uses this information to try and seek child support payments from that parent in order to offset the support the other parent is receiving. Once a court awards child support, it may include an order to pay retroactive child support for the period of time the parent was not supporting the child. The parent is responsible for making payments of the amount ordered by the court for retroactive child support to the state and keeping up current payments to the other parent.
When a parent owes child support to the state, some states have programs that provide a way for the parent’s child support arrears to be forgiven under certain circumstances. To qualify for these programs, parents who owe child support to the state must prove that they were unable to make payments because they were incarcerated, unemployed, or seriously ill. Generally, this program forgives outstanding child support payments to the state but requires the parent to be current in his payments if still obliged to make child support payments. However, the program does not forgive back child support owed to another parent.
Contact a Family Law Firm for Legal Assistance
If you are having a difficult time collecting the child support your ex has been ordered to pay, there are legal steps you can take to ensure they live up to their legal parental obligations. Call an experienced attorney, like a child support lawyer from a law firm like The Law Office of Daniel E. Stuart, P.A.