It’s a situation you hear about all-too-frequently. After a decision is made in the courtroom that awards custody of children to one of their parents, the other spouse is often ordered by the court to pay child support, as it’s seen as the responsibility of both the parents to support a child until either adulthood or emancipation. But what can you do if your ex-spouse is refusing to pay? There are a few options.
If you and your ex-spouse are on good terms, it might be a good idea to sit them down and try to have a discussion with them about the situation. These kinds of situations can be tricky, but it’s always possible to resolve them without needing to involve lawyers any further. That said, you should not hesitate to involve the authorities and lawyers if it can’t be solved amicably.
Depending on the state in which you live, the law might have other options to resolve the issue. One such tactic is called an “income execution.” This is basically when the law steps in directly and deducts money from your ex-spouse’s paychecks, which is then redirected to you. This solution is direct and has been known to be successful.
In some more extreme cases when an amicable solution cannot be reached and when the court-ordered amount can’t be deducted and redirected, other solutions can include the court leveling a money judgment against your ex-spouse. To put it plainly, this is when, in lieu of regular support payments, the court decides on a lump amount that will be awarded to the spouse with custody, to be paid by the other spouse. While this can sometimes be lower than what would be received through regular payments, it still sees support going to the proper place. Still other options include suspending the driver’s license or professional, occupational or business licenses of the defaulting party, or in some extreme cases, requiring a jail sentence.
While not all of these are necessarily going to happen if your ex-spouse cannot or will not make their child support payments, it’s important to know what options are at your disposal. As always, it’s helpful to consider hiring a lawyer in these situations, as help is invaluable. Contact us for all of your family law needs.