Child support can be one of the most contentious ongoing points of a divorce, especially when one party isn’t meeting their obligations for support. According to federal census data, failure to pay child support is severely problematic around the country. In fact, in 2013, only 45% of custodial parents obtained the child support they were owed. In the same year, over $10 billion was owed in child support payments.
If your child’s parent has fallen behind in payments, what are your options? How can you secure the finances necessary to provide for your child?
Connecting Parents With Child Support Collection Resources
In Arizona, child support payments come before all other financial claims. In fact, falling behind on child support payments is a federal crime, and can be classified as a felony that results in jail time if the responsible party fails to respond to warnings.
Although options are available which enable custodial parents to collect payments, many don’t know how to proceed. Others are aware of their options, but lack the resources and time to persist as much as is necessary. There are public resources available to all parents that can help:
Filing a Child Support Enforcement Petition
With the help of the dedicated team of Simon Law Group, you can submit an enforcement petition, or motion for contempt. This will summon the delinquent parent to court to account for their failure to pay. The court will consider the situation and determine the best method going forward to help ensure that child support obligations are met. This may include a variety of methods, including:
- Wage garnishment: Child support payments are taken directly from the parent’s paychecks and awarded to the custodial parent.
- Property liens: A lien is a public notice that the owner owes money, which provides collateral and a share in the property in question to the owed party.
- Submission to credit bureaus and collection agencies: This step enables custodial parents to sit back while someone else handles reminders and enforces the proper penalties on credit score ratings.
- Seizure of assets of a non-paying parent: In some cases where payment has been past due for over 12 months, a court may deem seizure of assets appropriate in order to provide fair compensation to the custodial parent.
- Suspension of state-issued drivers’ license: This form of penalty acts as a motivator to a parent, forcing them to speed up their timeline for payment of money owed.
- Fines for nonpayment: A court can order fines in addition to the interest payments due on overdue accounts.
- Jail time and criminal charges: Although this is seldom found to be the best option (as it can actually impede a parents’ ability to generate the income needed to meet child support payments) this can also act as motivation, setting an immediate consequence for failure to meet payments.
Having Trouble Collecting Child Support Payments? Contact Simon Law Today.
Here at Simon Law Group, we’re passionate about fighting for our clients’ rights and the wellbeing of children and families. Most people hesitate to take legal action against non-paying parents, not wanting to incite animosity, or risk potential criminal charges against a family member. Our team listens to your concerns and formulates a plan that will help you achieve your goals and secure the finances needed to keep your child happy and stable. Contact us today for a free consultation.