When parents live separately, child support is often a contentious issue. The paying parent often believes they are paying too much, and the receiving parent might feel they get too little. Sometimes, bitterness over some aspect of the breakup induces a parent to stop paying child support or to pay less than they owe. In other cases, changes to a parent’s circumstances affect child support.
If your co-parent is behind on child support payments, you could take legal action to compel them to pay. To discuss your options with a skilled Kernersville child support enforcement lawyer, give us a call today. The child support attorneys with Apple Payne Law are standing by to help you pursue the outcome you deserve.
Both parents must support their children financially, regardless of their relationship or how much time they spend with the child. When parents divorce, child support may become part of their divorce decree or ordered in a separate decree. Unmarried parents might enter a custody agreement when they separate, which is a contract that covers child custody, visitation, and support. If a mother does not know the father’s identity or cannot locate him, she might need help from North Carolina Child Support Enforcement Services (CSE) to obtain child support.
Usually, child support is determined by applying a formula that considers both parents’ income, how much time each child lives with each parent, whether the parent supports other children, and other factors. Child support is a legal obligation, and once a court has issued an order regarding child support, failure to comply can lead to legal action.
CSE is required by state law to petition the court to seek or enforce a child support order if the parent or child is receiving public assistance. If not, a parent who is owed child support could work with either CSE or a child support enforcement attorney in Kernersville to compel a parent to pay what they owe.
If a court decree incorporates a child support order, a parent can ask a court to compel payment. The courts have several methods at their disposal to enforce child support orders.
If the non-compliant parent is employed, a court might garnish their wages. The court issues a writ of execution ordering the employer to withhold a portion of the delinquent parent’s earnings and send them directly to the parent who is owed child support. If the non-compliant parent is unemployed or if additional measures are necessary to compel payment, a court could:
In some cases, an attorney might ask a court to find a parent who refuses to pay child support in contempt of court. The judge might order the parent in contempt to pay a fine and even sentence them to jail until they pay the child support they owe. The judge also might order the delinquent parent to pay the other parent’s attorney’s fees and court costs. An Apple Payne Law attorney can further explain the best courses of action for enforcing child support orders in Kernersville.
Both parents must recognize that the law sees child support as a child’s right, not the parent’s. The law also presumes that a meaningful relationship with each parent is essential to a child’s wellbeing. These two rights—financial support and contact with each parent—are separate.
Sometimes parents use visitation as leverage in child support disputes. A parent might stop paying support if they believe they should have more time with their child. A parent who receives support could try to prevent a parent who is behind on their support payments from seeing the child until they have paid what they owe.
Both actions are reprehensible. Child support and visitation are separate issues, and a court could punish a parent who uses one to influence the other. A parent with concerns about either child support enforcement or visitation should consult a Kernersville attorney, rather than attempt to use child support as leverage.
Your children need and deserve the financial support of both their parents. If your co-parent is behind on their child support payments, understand that you have legal options.
A Kernersville child support enforcement lawyer can help you pursue fair payments from your co-parent. To learn more, set up your initial consultation with Apple Payne Law today.