Child support is an important and serious element of any viable divorce settlement. When one parent has custody of one or more children more than half the time, that parent often receives monthly child support contributions from the other parent.
The court-ordered child support payments are intended to enable the other parent to provide for the children. The payments help to keep them suitably clothed, fed, and housed. When the spouse whose duty it is to provide child support payments does not do so, legal action might be required.
Court Order Could Restore Payments
If a spouse has reneged on the requirement to provide child support, the other parent could obtain a court order to obtain the unpaid amounts. A court order could force the offending parent to resume child support payments. It also could force the offending parent to pay past-due child support payments.
How much can the court take from my spouse’s wages?
A court order gives the filing parent the legal power to garnish the other parent’s wages. The garnishment would be initiated by an attorney after obtaining a court judgment against the non-paying spouse. If you want to know how much can the court take from my spouse’s wages, the answer is about half of the take-home pay.
In most cases, a court will authorize a 40 percent garnishment of post-tax wages paid by an employer to an offending parent. In extreme cases, the court might authorize a garnishment of up to half of the offending parent’s net pay.
The court will not authorize a garnishment amount that would make it impossible for a parent who is past due on payments to be incapable of maintaining a home. That is especially true if that parent has a good reason for falling behind on child support payments.
Losing a job, becoming seriously ill, or suffering a catastrophic injury are examples of why a parent might fall behind on child support payments due to no fault of their own.
Can the court seize my spouse’s property to collect child support?
The answer to the question of can the court seize my spouse’s property to collect child support is a solid "yes." A parent might be extremely negligent and repeatedly refuse to pay court-ordered child support. When an offending parent is significantly past-due on child support payments, a court could order the seizure of property.
That does not mean the other parent would be rendered homeless. But any excessive property could be seized and sold at an auction. The proceeds would cover past-due child support and any court fees or penalties that might apply.
Seizing your ex-spouse’s property would undergo treatment similar to a bankruptcy proceeding. Your former spouse would be able to keep a vehicle to get to and from work and a home in which to live. Those items also would make it possible for your former spouse to still pick up and host children when shared custody is part of the divorce agreement.
Categorized in: Child Support