If the court has ordered your spouse to pay child support for your minor child during and after divorce proceedings, but he or she has failed to do so, know that you have legal options for child support enforcement. There are many reasons why a parent may fail to make child support payments that are necessary to provide for the basic needs of your child, and our office is here to help you get the financial assistance you deserve. Call the office or contact us today in Los Angeles at the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler to schedule a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your legal options now.
Child Support Enforcement Methods
There are many ways in which the court can help enforce your child support order. One option is to hold the noncustodial parent in contempt of court until the child support in arrears is paid. This can include paying additional fines by the day or serving jail time until the child support owed is paid off. Fines can reach up to $1,000 per day in extreme cases. However, California law restricts this option to three years from the date the child support was due to file a motion to hold the other parent in contempt of court.
Other enforcement methods for child support payments include a number of penalties that can be imposed by the court. The most common method is wage garnishment of the parent’s paycheck. A notice is sent to the parent’s employer who then automatically deducts a portion of the parent’s paycheck every pay period until the support is fully paid. Another method includes placing property liens on the noncustodial parent’s real estate and personal property or forcing a sale of the property to cover the unpaid child support costs. Child support can also be withheld from federal tax returns, lottery winnings, disability benefits, workers’ compensation, and many other forms of income. Professional licenses and a passport can be suspended or revoked until payment is made, and the noncustodial parent can be forced to cover the attorneys’ fees and court costs associated with child support enforcement.
It is also important to note that even if the child turns 18 years old, it does not let the noncustodial parent off the hook for any amount of unpaid child support. That parent will still be required to pay any support in arrears to the custodial parent to make up for costs covered by a single parent during the child’s minor years. However, child support payments can only be enforced if there is a valid child support order on record with the court. If you and the other parent have an informal agreement for support during a separation or while a divorce is ongoing, the court cannot use any enforcement methods until an official support order is filed.
Contact a Child Support Attorney in California Now
To learn more about how you can enforce child support payments for your family, call or contact the Law Office of Bradley S. Sandler in Los Angeles today.