A child support obligation is a legal order from a judge detailing exactly how much a parent must pay to his or her child’s other parent to support the child’s basic needs. However, many parents do not seem to take their child support orders as seriously as they should and do not pay the full amount they are supposed to, or simply do not pay at all. Violating a court order can have serious consequences and parents who are supposed to collect child support have ways they can get the money they need for their children.

Child Support Payment Statistics

The latest statistics available from the U.S. Census Bureau paint a disturbing portrait about child support payments in the U.S. Less than half of the parents who should collect money receive the full amount of the payments they are supposed to get. One-third of parents receive a part of what the obligor parent owes and almost one-fourth of parents do not get any of the money they are due.

Collecting Child Support

The law provides several remedies when parents do not honor their child support obligations. Federal and state laws provide for many penalties for parents who do not pay child support. Some of the ways that parents can collect child support include:

  • Garnishing the obligor parent’s wages, workers’ compensation benefits or disability benefits
  • Intercepting the obligor parent’s federal and state income tax refunds
  • Collecting the non-paying parent’s lottery winnings
  • Filing liens against the obligor’s real or personal property
  • Filing a lawsuit asking the court to find the obligor in contempt until he or she pays child support
  • Asking the Child Support Division to take action to suspend the non-paying parent’s driver’s license, hunting license, fishing license or professional license

Consult an Attorney

Child support matters can be complex. Although judges are supposed to follow a formula to determine the amount that a parent pays, how the court calculates each parent’s income can vary a great deal. If you are dealing with child support matters, contact an experienced child support attorney who can advise you of your options.