What to do if your co-parent stops paying child support

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People raising children together in separate households have a lot to deal with. There are often visiting or childcare schedules to manage, shared expenses to share, decisions to make about your children, etc.

Whether you’re divorced, separated, or never been married, chances are you and your child’s other parent have some kind of child support arrangement that has been signed by a judge. . But what if the co-parent who is supposed to pay child support suddenly stops doing so?

RELATED: Is Child Support Affected If My Ex Remarries?

Make sure everything is documented

Therefore, you will want to make sure everything is properly documented, so that you have valid evidence for a child support delinquency case.

According to Charlotte-based law firm Krusch Law, PLLC, you’ll first want contact your co-parent to inquire about the missing payment(s). They may just have missed it, or they may be going through financial difficulties or other emergencies that may require more time to complete the payment. Either way, having the conversation in writing will help. You can do this by text, email, or through a co-parenting app.


Additionally, you will need to gather payment records to show when payments were stopped. This can include bank statements or other receipts that show past payments and also show clear evidence that payments have been missed. This will help provide information and evidence to show a clear end to payments.

Recovery of missing child support

Regardless of what happens, your co-parent cannot ignore child support payments indefinitely. They can request a change in payments, but this requires them to seek a lawyer and petition the court. Also, even if they request a change, it doesn’t change what’s due on the payments they missed.

DivorceNet’s legal team says you can contact the Office of Child Support Services (sometimes called the Department of Child Support Services) who can help you collect overdue child support payments. If necessary, a lawyer will help you take legal action to recover past payments that were missed.

Depending on how much child support your co-parent owes and how long they haven’t paid, the court may decide on several actions, including wage garnishment, interception of unemployment benefits, or other aid, or suspension of driver’s license until payments are made. .

How you can collect payments in the future

According to legal advice website FindLaw, child support payments can be collected in the following ways:

  • Enter wages
  • Interceptions of tax refunds
  • Place a lien on the property
  • Freeze bank accounts

In addition, the Child Support Act of 1984 gives state governments the power to penalize parents who do not pay child support. These penalties can include license revocation and even jail time. That’s why it’s important for parents to always ask for child support changes right away if life events make it impossible to pay for a period of time.

Child support is often part of parents’ budget that they rely on. When these payments are delayed or ignored entirely, it can really cause problems as to who is usually the primary caregiver for the children. However, there are things you can do if your co-parent isn’t paying child support. Remember to always consult your state laws and speak to an attorney if you are unsure of your options.

Sources: Krusch Law, PLLC, DivorceNet, FindLaw, United States Congress

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