Child support enforcement measures are important to help children and parents receive child support. Both parents who receive child support and pay child support should be familiar with child support enforcement methods.
- Income withholding: income withholding is one child support enforcement mechanism nonpaying parents may face. Income may be withheld to pay child support that is past due and currently due.
- Offset of tax refunds: once the amount of past due child support reaches a certain threshold, both state and federal income tax refund may be intercepted to pay past due child support.
- Lien placement or levy: a lien or levy against the real or personal property, financial assets or insurance claims of the nonpaying parent may be placed for unpaid child support.
- License suspension: a driver’s license, recreational or sporting license of the parent who fails to pay child support may be denied, suspended or revoked if the parent is greater than two months behind in child support payments. A professional license may also be denied, suspended or revoked.
- Passport denial: if the non-paying parent reaches $2,500 in past due child support, a passport may be denied.
- Credit reporting: when the parent falls greater than 2 months behind in child support payments, they will automatically be reported to credit reporting agencies.
- Show cause or bench warrant: the non-paying parent may be ordered to appear before the family law court to explain their failure to pay child support and if they fail to do so, a bench warrant for their arrest may be issued.
- Criminal charges: the non-paying parent may be referred for criminal failure to support charges which could ultimately result in jail time.
The family law system can help parents navigate the child support system. Both paying and recipient parents should understand there are consequences for failing to pay child support and should understand what those consequences are.