Collecting California Child Support in Arrears

Tue 3rd November, 2020 Family Law

In divorce cases involving minor children, the noncustodial parent will be ordered by the court to pay child support to the custodial parent for the children’s living expenses. However, in some cases, the noncustodial parent cannot or refuses to pay their fair share of support. This is known as being in arrears, and parents struggling to get the child support they need have options for collection. To learn more about the legal recourse you have as a parent, call or contact the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler in Beverly Hills today to schedule a consultation.

Court Penalties

The California court can impose penalties on the noncustodial parent in order to compel the payment of child support in arrears. The non-paying parent can be held in contempt of court if the parent willfully refuses to pay child support. A judge can order that the parent be put in jail until their arrearage is paid as well as order other fines and court costs. The court can also order community service for contempt of court charges, up to 120 hours for the first two offenses and 240 hours for a third offense.

In addition to contempt of court penalties, a parent in arrears can also have their driver’s license renewal or issuance denied, or their driver’s license can be revoked. Failure to pay child support is also reported to credit agencies in California, which can result in a lower credit score.

Collection Methods

There are a few different ways that the court can order the collection of unpaid child support in your case. The most common method is income withholding, which mandates the employer of the parent in arrears to withhold a percentage of each paycheck and send it directly to the custodial parent. Income withholding can also be ordered on other sources of income, including pension plans, disability benefits, Social Security benefits, unemployment benefits, workers’ compensation benefits, lottery winnings, and tax refunds.

Another method of collecting unpaid child support is through the use of liens on the noncustodial parent’s real estate and personal property. A lien makes property incredibly difficult to sell because it requires that the value of the lien be paid before the seller can collect any remaining profits on the sale. One final method is through the forfeiture and sale of the noncustodial parent’s property to cover the arrearage in child support payments. Forfeit property is sold at a sheriff’s auction, and the proceeds go directly to covering the unpaid child support payments. Both real estate and personal property can be subject to forfeiture and sale for arrears in child support payments.

Call or Contact the Office Now

Are you struggling to collect child support from your child’s other parent in the Los Angeles area? If so, the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler is here to help. Call the office or contact us today to speak with an experienced California family law attorney and schedule a consultation of your case.