What methods are used to enforce child support payments?

When a person is ordered to pay child support, it is important for him or her to be 100 percent clear of what is expected. If a person neglects to make child support payments, regardless of the reason, it could lead to a variety of troubles.

It is possible for a person to be sentenced to jail time for failing to pay child support. However, this is not common because it means the person will not be able to work. As a result, he or she will not be able to earn money to pay what is owed.

Other methods can be implemented to enforce child support payments, including the following:

-- Wage garnishment

-- Seizing property, including real estate

-- Withholding federal tax refunds

-- Revoking the person's driver's license

-- Suspending a business license, such as one that is used to operate a restaurant

In some cases, the U.S. Department of State can step in and deny a passport to a person who owes in excess of $2,500.

When the court orders a person to pay child support, it is expected that he or she will do so in full and on time every month. If this does not happen for any reason, the consequences can be severe.

It can be frustrating for a parent to wait around for a child support payment, just to realize that it is never going to show up. Those who are due child support and not receiving the appropriate amount may want to speak with a family law attorney about how the order can be better enforced.

Source: FindLaw, "Enforcement of Child Support: FAQ's" Jan. 06, 2015

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