A parent who owes monthly child support payments may feel the obligation is a burden. However, if a court order compels a noncustodial parent to pay, there is typically no way to legally avoid it. Sometimes a supporting parent may run into hardships that make it difficult to meet the child support obligation, but without a modification order from the court, he or she must continue to make regular payments to support the child.
Unfortunately, some parents do not live up to this responsibility. When a parent who has the means to pay refuses to comply, the custodial parent may be left to struggle to provide for the child’s basic needs. In such cases, the custodial parent may wish to seek assistance with taking any of the following steps:
- Deducting overdue support from tax refunds the other parent is expecting
- Garnishing the supporting parent’s wages
- Seizing assets such as vehicles
- Withholding payments from pensions, commissions or bonuses, disability benefits, workers’ comp benefits and other funds the other parent is owed
- Placing a lien on any real estate the parent owns
- Denying the supporting parent a passport or passport renewal.
In many cases, custodial parents have asked the court to require the other parent to allow child support payments to be automatically deducted from his or her payroll. Family advocates recommend this to minimize the chances of missing payments. However, a custodial parent should know that there are numerous methods for seeking overdue payments, which the government considers a priority debt that even bankruptcy does not discharge in most situations.