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What Can You Do When Your Ex is Not Paying Child Support?

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

blog-logoChild support is one of those issues that never seems to get easier; in fact, if anything it gets more difficult the longer you have been divorced.  Even when both spouses seem to look out for the best interests of the children, long held hostilities between the parties often play out in the payment of child support.  Now matter how well-intentioned one might be, circumstances often arise where the non-custodial spouse is not paying child support

If this is happening to you, a Colorado Springs child support lawyer can review your options for enforcing an existing child support order, and how best to proceed with your case.  However, if you do not currently have a court order, then non payment of child support could become a much more complicated issue.

As a Colorado Springs family lawyer, I always advise my clients to make sure their child support is court-ordered, not just an informal agreement between mom and dad.  The reason for this is two-fold.  First of all, even the most amicable of divorce situations will change over the years, and you can never predict how this might affect a parent’s willingness to pay support.  Secondly, if the non-custodial parent is not paying child support and you do not have a court order, then the support cannot be garnished from their wages, accrued as “arrears”, or otherwise withheld from that parent’s assets. 

If you do have a court order, then the penalties for non-payment of child support can be severe; up to and including incarceration for Contempt of Court.  Enforcement actions may include wage garnishment, driver’s license suspension, negative credit reporting, court-ordered lump sum payments, and the inability to obtain a passport.  Courts may also seize bank accounts and other assets owned by the non-paying parent.  Keep in mind, however, if you live in a densely populated area the number of enforcement agents may be too scarce to carry out these threats. 

The best way to ensure quick and decisive action against a parent who is willfully not paying child support is to have your attorney file a Complaint for Contempt of Court. If you don’t currently work with a Colorado divorce lawyer, contact the Marrison Family Law LLC in Colorado Springs for a free consultation about child support and other post-decree issues. 

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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