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Enforcing Child Support Payments in California

Posted on in Child Support

Los Gatos child support enforcement attorneyEveryone has heard about deadbeat parents who do not pay child support. This can cause a great deal of stress and a significant financial burden for the custodial parent, who is forced to make ends meet on their own. In most cases, child support payments are taken directly from the non-custodial parent’s paycheck, but in some cases, there may be a different payment method, or the parent may move on to a different job without divulging that information to the state.

Where Do I Turn When My Ex Is Not Paying Support?

If the parent ordered to pay support is not holding up their end of the agreement, the first step may be to contact the Local Child Support Agency (LCSA), but it could also be in your best interests to contact an experienced child support lawyer to help you determine your options for getting the money that is owed to you.

What Repercussions Will a Non-Paying Parent Face?

Although failing to pay support can result in being held in contempt of court, charging the responsible party with this offense may not be a great help in recovering unpaid child support. The parent in contempt may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the situation. The problem with this is that if the parent goes to jail, you will likely still not be receiving child support at all. 

Child support cases are typically handled at the state and/or local level, but in some situations, the owing parent may be prosecuted under the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act. A good child support attorney can advise you on exactly which laws have been broken in your case.

When parents refuse to pay child support for more than a year, they may be referred to the federal Office of Inspector General (OIG). The OIG may also get involved if the parent owes more than $5,000 in support, or if the parent has moved to another state in order to avoid paying child support. The owing parent could be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to six months in prison.

If and when this situation goes on for longer than two years, or the amount owed reaches $10,000 or more, the owing parent can be charged with a felony. That would not only mean he or she is subject to more fines, but is also possibly looking at as long as two years in prison.

How Much Money Am I Owed?

In California, you are not only owed the support payments that are past due, but also interest on the amount. Although a parent charged with contempt probably will not have assets available to pay you while he or she is in jail, the parent will still be responsible for the delinquent payments and interest when he or she gets out. 

Contact an Attorney for Advice on Your Support Case

If you feel you have a case against your child’s non-custodial parent for not paying child support, Ventresca Law Firm can guide you through your legal options and help you receive the financial support your child deserves. Contact a Los Gatos family law attorney to learn more about your options. Set up a free consultation by calling 408-395-8822.

Sources:

http://www.childsup.ca.gov/portals/0/resources/docs/pub160_english.pdf

https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/child-support-enforcement/

https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ceos/citizens-guide-us-federal-law-child-support-enforcement

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Los Gatos, CA 95030

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