What can be done if a parent refuses to pay child support?

Failure to pay alimony may result in imprisonment.

Child support is a court-mandated payment made by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent and is designed to help the custodial parent with the costs of raising a child. Many nations around the world have child support laws, because raising a child is considered a joint responsibility of the parents, whether or not they are together. It is awarded by the court after the judge considers factors such as the non-custodial parent’s income, along with the outstanding expenses borne by both parents. Once the court has ordered support, the non-custodial parent must pay it regularly.

Failure to pay child support can result in heavy fines.

Unfortunately, many parents avoid paying child support, using a variety of justifications. Common excuses for avoiding child support include an inability to pay, a lack of responsibility for the money, an unwillingness to have the child first, to protest visitation agreements, or a personal conviction that the premium amount is unfair. The burden of “deadbeat” parents falls heavily on women, who are more likely to receive primary custody, and deadbeat parents are a well-known social phenomenon in most countries. If a non-custodial parent feels that a sentence is unfair, it is the parent’s responsibility to file a formal action in the award court.

Willful disobedience to a court order for child support may result in a charge of civil contempt.

There are several options for recovering child support payments from a parent who is shirking his obligations. Many parents are frustrated with the process and turn to a private agency to recover the money owed to them, but there are legal courses to follow, many of which are free. The first step is to document the non-payment with the court that issued the initial child custody order. Court officials may work with the parents to try to reach an amicable settlement through mediation or find the non-custodial parent in contempt of court, which will initiate a legal process to recover the money.

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Wage pledges, where money is taken directly from a person’s paycheck, can be used to pay child support.

Common methods of extracting support from deadbeat parents include garnishing wages for a lump sum award, withholding wages for regular monthly payments, seizing or pledging assets, and intercepting tax returns. Failure to pay child support can also result in a fine and imprisonment, although this law is rarely enforced. The application for alimony can also be carried out between states, with the court that awarded the payments requesting assistance from a child support agency in another state.

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