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What are Some Child Support Enforcement Methods?

Did you know that in 2012, the total amount of child support due nationally was $34.1 billion? This would mean that each parent that is due child support is owed on average $3,350. Only 63% of all child support payments were made on time. When parents do receive support from the other parent, half of the time they receive non-support gifts such as birthday presents, clothing, food and medical expenses paid for the child. Looking back over records, the US Census Bureau reported that 27% of non-custodial parents resulted to contacting a government office in order to seek aid in collecting their past due child support. These statistics can seem disheartening at times, especially because 18.2% of custodial parents who received support in 2012 were already below the poverty level. That is why we like to keep our clients informed about the different venues of child support enforcement.

You can seek help with obtaining past due child support by contacting the California Department of child Support Services (DCSS). They operate on a case by case basis, first they will look at the noncustodial parent's payment history, where they live, where they work, the level of their income, the kind of assets that they have and the date of their last payment. The first method that the DCSS will typically employ is to ask the parent to voluntary pay. If that tactic is not successful, then they will begin to utilize several other enforcement tools as they see fit.

One method that the DCSS will employ, is wage assignment. They will have the noncustodial parent's employer withhold a certain amount of money from their paycheck. Employers however, are not allowed to withhold more than 50% of the noncustodial parent's disposable income. There are also health insurance coverage assignments that you can enforce so that the noncustodial parent has to enroll their child in the parent's health insurance plan. Then, the employer will receive authorization to deduct the cost of health care premium and take it out of the noncustodial parent's paycheck.

The DCSS can also enforce real property liens to collect child support. The way it works is that the county recorder will construct a lien against real property that the noncustodial parent owns or acquired interest on. Another collection method went into effect in 1993, allowing the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) to collect overdue child support from the noncustodial parent's bank account or wages. The FTB is also permitted to take the support by confiscating personal property such as land, a boat or a motorcycle.

Lastly, there are civil and criminal remedies that you can use to intimidate the noncustodial parent into paying your support. With this, the court will take action by filing an Order to Show Cause to See Work, and Order to Show Cause for Examination, or an Order to Show Cause for Contempt. With these legal documents, the court will be able to determine if the noncustodial parents is actively seeking work, if they have any income or assets, or if they are found to be in contempt of court. If they are found to be in contempt, then they could face jail time or be sentenced to serve mandatory community service. These methods are only utilized if the other methods of enforcement have been deemed unsuccessful.

As you can see, if the other parent is not cooperating and is not paying their court ordered support payments, you have options you can explore. If you need help collecting your support payments, do not hesitate to contact a Culver City divorce attorney from Widger & Widger, APLC today.