Child support enforcement is an important tool to ensure children receive the support they need. Parents have an obligation to financially support their children which is enforced in a variety of different ways through the family law system.
The following are methods of child support enforcement:
- Income assignment: the most common method of enforcing child support is income assignment which is similar to wage garnishment.
- Deductions for health insurance: similar to an income assignment, the parent’s employer may be directed to enroll children in health insurance and deduct premium costs from the parent’s pay.
- Bank account liens: the parent’s bank account may have a lien placed on it to cover any back child support that is done. This will be accomplished through a freeze on the parent’s bank account.
- Tax refund intercepts: the parent’s state or federal income tax refunds may be intercepted to cover any outstanding child support that is due.
- Lottery intercepts: if the parent wins the lottery, the winnings can be intercepted to cover back child support due. Gambling payments may also be intercepted.
- License suspension: the parent’s driver’s license, hunting or fishing licenses, as well as occupational licenses may be suspended if the parent has child support owing.
- Credit bureau reporting: unpaid child support can be reported to credit reporting agencies.
- Real estate and personal property liens: liens can be placed on real estate and personal property such as cars for unpaid child support.
- Contempt: parents who fail to comply with a child support order can face contempt charges which can be punishable by jail time.
There are many ways for unpaid child support to be pursued. There are also resources available for parents who need to modify child support. Parents who are paying or receiving child support should be familiar with these options.