What Can I Do if My Ex Refuses to Pay Child Support?

Child support is not optional. When parents get divorced, they must both continue to provide for their children. If you are the custodial guardian for your children and your former spouse refuses to pay child support, you must contact an attorney and take legal action to ensure you receive the money your former spouse owes. Child support makes a big difference in your ability to care for your children, so continue reading to learn more about what you can do to enforce the court order.

Enforcing the Child Support Order

If your former spouse refuses to pay child support, there are numerous ways to pursue it.

Below are some of the most common enforcement tools a judge might use:

  • Wage garnishment: Your attorney can request an income withholding order and, if granted, you will receive child support directly through your ex’s wages.
  • License suspension or revocation: The state can revoke or suspend your former spouse’s license until he or she catches up on the missed child support payments.
  • Federal income tax receipts: The state can intercept your ex’s tax refund to cover missing or late child support payments.
  • Passport denial: If your former spouse is behind on child support payments, passport agencies might refuse to renew his or her passport.
  • Contempt of court: Lastly, depending on how much your former spouse owes, a judge might order jail time.

Generally, the state pursues delinquent child support payments. However, in some cases, the U.S. Office of the Inspector General (OIG) might get involved. If your former spouse lives in another state and one of the following applies:

  • Failed to pay child support for over a year
  • Owes more than $5,000
  • Left the state or the country to avoid fulfilling this obligation

Even if your children reach the age of majority, you can still retrieve the money you are owed, so do not hesitate to obtain skilled legal counsel. Moreover, child support payments cannot be discharged, even through bankruptcy, so take the proper steps to enforce the court order, so you can provide for your children.

Reach Out to a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney Today!

We all do our best to provide for our children and, if your former spouse fails to contribute and neglects the child support order, you are probably experiencing some financial difficulties. At SmartLaw, our family law team has over a decade of experience in helping families navigate the most complex and emotionally charged legal matters. Our knowledgeable and compassionate attorney will provide the one-on-one attention you deserve and personalized solutions to address your specific goals and needs. Moreover, we are available on evenings and weekends for your convenience. We do not want this issue to further disrupt your life and will do what it takes to help you move forward.

Get started on your child support case today and reach out to our team at to set up an initial consultation with our family law attorney.

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