This blog has discussed how child support is calculated and modified. It is also important to understand how child support obligations are enforced and the impact they can have on paying, non-custodial, parents and recipient parents as well.
The state’s enforcement tools
There are several mechanisms that can be utilized to collect unpaid child support including:
- Income withholding: A noncustodial parent who owes child support may have support withheld from their wages by their employer.
- Unemployment intercepts: A noncustodial parent who owes child support may have support withheld from their unemployment benefits.
- Tax offset intercept: A noncustodial parent who owes child support may have their federal and state tax refunds intercepted to pay back child support.
- Credit bureau reporting: A noncustodial parent who owes child support may be reported to credit bureaus.
- Liens: A noncustodial parent who owes back child support can have liens placed against their workers’ compensation or personal injury claims.
- Accounts frozen or seizures: A noncustodial parent who owes back child support may have their accounts at financial institutions at banks and credit unions frozen.
- License suspension: A noncustodial parent who owes unpaid child support may have their license suspended.
- Passport revocation: A noncustodial parent who has unpaid child support obligations $2500 or greater can have their passport revoked or a passport application denied.
- Contempt action: A noncustodial parent who owes child support can face a contempt action which can result in incarceration.
The consequences for unpaid child support can range from income withholding to jail time and can be serious. Child support enforcement mechanisms are important to be familiar with but it is also helpful for parents to be familiar with how the family law system can help with whatever family law concerns they have including establishing child support, child support modifications and child support enforcement.