It takes two people to make a child. When only one of them is paying to raise their kid, that creates an undue burden for most families. When your ex refuses to pay child support, there are a few things you can do to get what you’re owed. Working with a family law attorney in Miami, FL will help ensure you and your child get the support to which you are entitled.
Read on to learn about your recourse when your ex won’t pay child support.
Do you have a child support court order?
First and foremost, if you want to garnish your ex’s wages for child support, you’ll need a child support court order. If the two of you simply have an informal agreement in place, there’s nothing that a court can do.
If you don’t have a child support court order, call a family law attorney to get the process started. Even if you were never married, you have legal recourse—but you won’t be able to enforce payment until you have a court order.
Find proof of non-payment
Assuming you’re entitled to court-ordered child support, gather any proof you have of non-payment. Usually, this will be bank records showing that you didn’t deposit a check or cash, or receive a money transfer from your ex, in the contested time period. Ask your attorney for advice if your ex usually pays by another method.
Petition the court for enforcement
Next, you and your attorney will petition the court for enforcement. (Your attorney may recommend a motion to show cause or a motion for contempt instead, depending on the specific circumstances of your case.) This is exactly what it sounds like: you’ll go to court, explain that your ex isn’t paying and ask them to force them to pay. If granted, and your ex continues to flout the law, they may be sent to jail or suffer other severe consequences.
Solutions for continued non-payment
Sometimes non-payment is a one-time thing—maybe your ex lost their job and didn’t realize they had to file to modify the child support order. However, sometimes they’re simply a deadbeat. If you expect this to happen again in the future, your attorney can ask the court to garnish their wages, get an income withholding order and even force the sale of or put a lien on certain assets. Depending on how far in the weeds your ex may be, and how severe your need for support is, some of these methods may be more suitable than others.
Keep in mind that your ex may take the opportunity to modify the child support order, contest paternity, show proof that the child is living with them at least part-time or offer other defenses to non-payment.
When you’re having trouble getting the child support your ex owes, your best bet is to work with a family law attorney in Miami, FL. Call the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler for help with your child support non-payment case.
Categorized in: Child Support