In the United States, an estimated 37.5 million parents are owed over $100 billion in unpaid child support. As hard as that is to understand, some non-custodial parents ignore this responsibility, and do not pay their court ordered child support. That leaves a lot of single parents in a tough spot, as they try to figure out how to collect this money they’re owed. When someone won’t pay the money they owe their children, there’s more ways to fix that than you think.
5. You Can Put The Clamp On Almost Every Official Aspect Of Their Life
If they don’t want to pay their court ordered child support, you and your lawyer can make it so they can’t do a single thing that involves the government in any way, shape, or form. Drivers license? Suspended. Tax return? Not happening. Passport? Revoked. Wages? Garnished. When you get the government involved, there’s absolutely nowhere for them to hide. In fact, they can’t even skip the country, because their border movements are restricted.
4. Waiting It Out Until The Child’s 18th Birthday Is Not A Valid Tactic
So many delinquent parents will think they can just take a knee until the clock strikes 18, and walk away free and clear. That’s not in any way how this works. This money is owed because a court said it was owed, and it’s still owed — that’s what “debt” means. Your child turning 18 changes absolutely nothing, and that’s no reason to give up the cause.
3. You Move To The Front Of The Line After A Bankruptcy Case
When someone declares bankruptcy, it wipes out much of their debt on the grounds that they just can’t afford it. Some debts, like student loans, cannot be discharged by Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Unpaid child support is one of those debts, and declaring bankruptcy does nothing for that. Not only does the obligation remain, but when they declare bankruptcy, that parent is basically announcing to the world where they are, who they are, and how much money they have or don’t have.
2. A Judge Can Literally Clean Out Their Bank Account
This is a tricky thing, and you’ll want to talk to your lawyer about it. In some cases, you can get a judgement where the courts will just reach right into the delinquent parent’s bank account, say “Thank you very much,” and hand you the money. This is not something you can just up and do, so it’s best to consult with an attorney. It doesn’t work in each and every case, but in specific situations, it’s a possibility.
1. A Bit Of Compromise Goes A Long Way
Because something is preferable to nothing, many lawyers will advise you to try to work with — and not against — the delinquent parent. This is often a much easier route, as it’s less of a conflict. If you’re willing to waive the interest, create a reasonable payment schedule, or other arrangements — your odds of collecting support get better. Talk to your attorney and let them know you’re willing to negotiate a compromise, and see where it goes from there.
If you’re struggling to establish a child support agreement with your child’s parent, it’s important to speak with an attorney. Use our Contact Us page to schedule a meeting with our lawyers to go over your options.