It's always irritating when your ex fails to pay their child support obligation. As everyone knows, raising children is expensive and only getting more so. You have several solutions to try when your ex won't pay. Find out more below.
Speak to the Parent
Find out what is going on with the parent before you do anything else. They may be seriously ill and unable to work. Find out why they are not paying and warn them about the consequences. Some parents can be arrested and jailed for not paying child support but there are other serious financial punishments possible as well.
Contact Child Support Enforcement
Most states have agencies to help when a parent fails to pay child support. Contact the agency and find out what they can do to help. They may be able to contact your ex and learn more about the situation. They also may have the power to take steps against your ex to obtain the support payments including any back support owed.
Contact a Lawyer
Ask a family law attorney or your divorce attorney about taking your ex to court for non-payment of child support. The judge will subpoena your ex to appear and find out why they are not paying child support. If they have lost their job, the judge might temporarily lower the amount they owe. However, judges are extremely reluctant to do so, and they won't suspend child support entirely, even if your ex ends up in prison.
If your ex is employed, the judge has the power to garnish their wages. That means a certain percentage of their pay is removed from their check before they receive it. This takes place through the payroll department at an employer. Only so much can be garnished, however.
Using the IRS
The judge may also seize property from your ex if they are not employed. They can seize real estate, vehicles, savings accounts, and even tax refunds. If your ex has a refund coming to them, it can be seized before it's refunded. If your ex has remarried, however, and their taxes are filed jointly, it's more complex to accomplish this since some of the refund could belong to the new spouse.
State tax refunds can also be intercepted in the same way. To find out more about tax refund seizures and other ways to get your ex to pay child support, speak to a lawyer.