Decatur Family Law and Probate Attorney

What can I do if my ex won’t pay child support?

On Behalf of | Jan 19, 2024 | Divorce

If the court awards you child support, it can be frustrating and financially difficult if the parent who is ordered to pay you does not meet their obligation. Fortunately, there are options to address it.

Effect on the child

Child support is intended to provide for the child’s basic needs like clothing, shelter, education, food and healthcare. Non-payment of child support can have a profound negative effect on your child’s well-being.

Without financial support, the child may not be able to participate in events that help with their development, like tutoring, sports, field trips or other extracurricular activities. This can leave them feeling isolated from their peers and cause them to have a lack of self-esteem. They may also suffer emotional stress and anxiety because they live in a financially unstable environment.

Addressing non-payment

It is important to address non-payment of child support as soon as possible. The court may order income withholding for the non-paying parent. This means that their employer deducts the child support payment directly from their paycheck. If they are owed a tax refund, that can be intercepted as well.

The court may hold them in contempt, which can cause them to face fines, jail or other consequences. Their driver’s license may be suspended and if they hold a professional license, that may be suspended as well.

In situations where there is significant past due child support, the state may seize their property and sell it to meet the child support obligations.  Non-payment of child support can also have a negative effect on their credit report.