The different ways child support can be enforced

Posted by Lauren S. CohenDec 10, 20180 Comments

Divorced or divorcing parents in New York may be wondering what the different types of child support enforcement are. Enforcement methods depend on how long it has been since the non-custodial parent has paid, the jurisdiction and how much is due. Enforcement methods can include anything from wage garnishment to fines and the removal of licenses.

There are also cases where the person who is not in compliance is jailed or has liens placed on his or her car or home. In other cases, tax refunds may be withheld from the non-compliant parent. In general, child support enforcement is harsher when the parent owes a significant amount of money or if the parent attempts to leave the country without paying. In some countries, passport denial and federal prosecution are means of enforcement.

Taking money directly from a non-custodial parent's income source is one common child support enforcement method. This is called wage garnishment. When wage garnishment is used to collect child support funds, the employer is the one who sends a portion of the parent's income to the jurisdiction. This makes it impossible for the parent to withhold payment. In the United States, up to 60 percent of a parent's total wages can be garnished. Tax return funds may also be seized to pay child support.

In some cases, a parent who neglects to pay child support may be held in contempt of court. In addition to fines and court costs, he or she will be ordered to pay the balance in full.

In order to begin proceedings to collect owed child support, a custodial parent may want to work with an attorney with experience in spousal support and maintenance. An attorney may be able to help the parent explore different child support enforcement options and come to an agreement with the non-custodial parent before lengthy legal processes begin.