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How is child support enforced?

Following a divorce, the custodial parent of children from a marriage may find him or herself in a financial dilemma. If one of the parents worked while the other took care of the home and children, that parent no longer has any income. In addition to spousal support or alimony, during the process of the divorce is it not uncommon for the custodial parent to collect child support.

Child support is determined by the courts at the time of a divorce, or is issued to the non-custodial parent for children born out of wedlock. But how is child support enforced?

For a parent who fails to make child support payments, there are various methods that the state child support enforcement agency, or district attorney can impose to try to collect the money. They may withhold federal tax refunds, garnish wages, seize property, suspend the person's occupational license or business license, or even revoke the person's driver's license. In addition, the United States Department of State may deny issuing a person his or her passport if the overdue payments exceed $2,500.

Typically jail time is a last resort, as it is obviously much more difficult for a person to earn the necessary income to pay child support when in jail.

As we so often stress, courts weigh heavily on keeping the best interests of the children in mind when making decisions, and as such, they consider child support to be vitally important. People in the St. Charles area who are dealing with issues regarding child support should understand their legal options for protecting theirs and their children's financial well-being. A family law attorney can assist people with these matters.

Source: FindLaw "Enforcement of Child Support: FAQ's," Accessed on Nov. 17, 2015

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Joseph J. Porzenski
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