Child support is important for children to receive to ensure they are properly cared for. For that reason, it is important for parents receiving child support, and parents paying child support, to be familiar with child support enforcement resources and methods available.
There are several ways that child support obligations may be enforced including:
- License suspension: a nonpaying parent behind on child support obligations may face driver’s license suspension or the suspension of their professional, hunting or fishing license.
- Passport denial: a parent who fails to pay child support may have their application for a passport renewal denied or have an initial passport application denied.
- Liens: a noncustodial parent who has not paid their child support can have liens placed on their properties, bank accounts, retirement plans, life insurance plans, personal injury claims, insurance settlements or awards and other assets as well.
- Lottery intercept: any lottery wins for a parent behind in child support may be intercepted to pay the child support that is owed.
- Credit bureau reporting: nonpayment of child support owed by a parent according to a valid child support order may be reported to credit bureaus.
- Civil or criminal contempt: a parent who is behind on child support is potentially facing civil or criminal contempt which can result in fines or even jail time for the parent.
It is important that children receive the financial and emotional support they need as they journey through childhood. Because there are family law tools to help parents navigate child support enforcement, and child support modifications when needed, divorcing parents should be familiar with family law resources that can help them with their child support concerns.