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Help! My Ex Isn’t Paying Child Support!

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for an ex-spouse or estranged parent to stop making their child support payments. If you’re struggling to pay all the expenses for your kids, the child support your ex owes you can make a big difference. How can you collect the money that you’re supposed to have to help provide your kids with the things they need?

If you’re having difficulty getting payments from your ex, I highly recommend that you speak to an attorney who can help you enforce your rights. You can also ask for the assistance of the Child Support Enforcement office or of your local district attorney. Your local district attorney and state attorney are obligated to help you collect the child support that’s owed you, according to the Child Support Enforcement Act. The district attorney can serve papers requiring that your ex arrange a repayment schedule.

What if your ex has disappeared? There are locator services specifically for locating missing parents. Employers are required to report basic information about new hires to each state’s Department of Labor, making it easier to track down a non-paying ex.

Unpaid child support can be taken directly from your ex’s wages. This requires an income withholding order issued by a court or the child support enforcement agency. Usually, 120 percent of the payment amount is collected until the back support has been paid off, then the regular monthly payment is deducted every month. Once this procedure is in place, it continues for as long as child support is due.

Child support can be collected from income other than wages; for instance, your ex’s tax refund can be diverted to pay for child support. Unpaid child support can have serious consequences. Unpaid amounts over $1,000 can be reported to the credit bureaus. Parents who are at least $2,500 behind on child support payments may be denied a passport. Failure to set up payments can even result in jail time.

If you haven’t been receiving child support payments that are owed to you, we can help you resolve the situation. Give us a call today!

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara, Esq. is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a law firm dedicated to assisting families with the legal issues affecting them, and their loved ones in family and probate court. Ms. Vasquez de Lara graduated cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002. She has been named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list and is an experienced family, probate, and guardianship litigator.

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