If the court requires your ex-spouse to pay child support, you expect to receive payment in full and on time every month. While this may happen at first, you never know what could go wrong down the road.
If your ex stops making child support payments for any reason, you'll want to learn more about your legal rights. There are steps you can take to collect what's owed to you, and you shouldn't hesitate to proceed if you're unable to work things out outside of the courtroom.
Are there past due child support payments?
Family law courts are serious about the enforcement of child support. When a person falls behind on payments, the overdue amount is not forgiven for any reason. Instead, the court expects the payer to catch up as quickly as possible.
While the payer has the right to request a child support modification, such as if they lose their job, this doesn't have any impact on past missed payments. They're still required to remit this money.
What about bankruptcy?
Many people required to pay child support assume they can get around the system by filing for bankruptcy. And if you're receiving payments, this may also be a concern of yours.
Child support debt is not discharged in any form of personal bankruptcy filing, such as Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.
Wage garnishment is possible
Depending on the circumstances, a wage garnishment may be possible if a person refuses to make child support payments.
With this, some or all of the payer's child support is withheld by their employer. Since a wage garnishment is the result of a court order, you'll need to understand how the process works and the steps necessary to take advantage of this option.
You have rights
If your ex-spouse refuses to pay child support, you may assume it's easier to give in to keep the person out of your life.
While this sounds like a good idea if you have the financial means to care for your children, you shouldn't let the other person off the hook. If they're required by law to pay child support, you should seek the money that's due to you. This often means heading to court, but it's better than looking in the other direction and making your children suffer as a result.