According to The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984, you can seek help from the District Attorney if your ex-spouse fails to pay child support in accordance with a court order. The ex-spouse will be served with documents instructing him or her to meet with your District Attorney in order to set up a new payment plan. The documents will also instruct the ex-spouse that if he or she fails to come for the scheduled meeting and follow the listed instructions, he or she may face serious penalties and possible jail sentence. However, such a threat usually does not work in your favor because if your ex-spouse will be behind bars and won’t be able to earn to give you the requested child support payments. Imposing jail sentence is seen as the last resort in these cases.
If your ex-spouse fails to pay child support, the district attorney can also impose other consequences and penalties such as withholding federal tax refunds, garnishing wages, seizing and liquidating property, suspending your ex-spouse’s business license or occupational license, or even invalidating the non-payer’s driver’s license. Another radical and more severe method is to have the U.S. Department of State deny the issuing of a passport to anyone who owes more than $2,500 in child support. All these strategies can be effective in getting you the requested child support.
Although it may seem harsh, there is no mercy or leeway when it comes to getting the alimony you are entitled to. If the court orders something, it has to be followed and implemented. There is never a valid reason not to do it. By using these strategies, the court ensures that very harsh penalties are not imposed which would prevent your ex-spouse from fulfilling his obligations.
If an ex-spouse moves out of state, he is still required to pay child support under The Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This ensures that the custodial spouse is not harmed if the former partner moves away in order to abandon his child custody obligations. As long as your residing state still has personal jurisdiction over your ex-partner, the UFISA will apply. This allows you to appeal to the court to impose some kind of enforcement of child support.
However, if your state does not have personal jurisdiction over said child support payer, you may ask the state court to forward the child support order to the court in the state where your ex-spouse resides. This will allow that state’s court to impose enforcement of the child support order. Alternatively, you may travel to your ex-spouse’s state to file for an enforcement of the child support order. If nothing else works, you can also send the child support order to your ex-spouses’s current employer, requesting them to retract the desired amount of child support from their paychecks.
It is never okay if the spouse who is required to pay child support fails to pay it. Whatever the reason, contact a family law attorney immediately to discuss your case.