Raising a child under any circumstance is not only hard work but also an expensive undertaking. Things get even harder when you are a single parent. This is where child support payments come in.
When parents who have a child together divorce or separate, the family court will order the non-custodial parent to make child support payments to the custodial parent. These payments are meant to finance the child’s needs such as education, food, clothing and extra-curricular activities.
However, it is not uncommon for the non-custodial parent to fall behind on their child support obligations. If this happens, the custodial parent may go through a stressful situation. Fortunately, there are appropriate steps they can take to remedy the situation.
A child support order is binding
Every parent has a duty to provide financial support for their child until they can reach the legal age of independence. If your ex fails to honor their court-ordered child support obligation, you may return to court for help. Some of the enforcement mechanisms the court can direct include:
- Garnishing the defaulting parent’s wages
- Intercepting their tax refunds
- Withdrawing their driver’s license
- Holding them in contempt of court
What you should never do when the other parent is behind in child support
Sometimes, the custodial parent may take matters into their own hands in response to failed child support payments. This may be in the form of withholding visitation in an attempt to force their ex to keep up with child support payments.
It is important to understand that this can amount to a violation of your ex’s visitation rights. And there are consequences for this. If your ex is not paying child support, do not punish them in return by withholding visitation.
Parents fall behind in child support for a variety of reasons. If your ex is not living up to their child support obligations, find out how you can address the issue without hurting the child’s best interest.