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Enforcing Child Support Agreements

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When you and your child, or children, depend on child support payments coming in each month and the paying parent refuses to pay on time, or has simply refused to pay for months or years on end, it is your right to take legal action. There is no excuse that the other parent can make, legally, to get out of past payments, or current payments unless a court-ordered modification to the child support has been issued. Whether they complain that they have lost their job, they cannot afford to keep up with the payments because of their other living expenses, or any other excuse, we urge you to take immediate legal action. The court will not accept an excuse of any kind and will impose measures for collection, wage withholding, driver’s license suspension, and even jail if necessary. There are a series of legal steps to take that will put more and more pressure on even the most delinquent paying parent to come forth with their payments. 

What Actions Can I Take to Enforce the Payment?

An experienced Pasadena, Maryland child custody attorney will be able to take swift action with the Maryland courts and the Child Support Services. The Maryland Department of Human Services enforces child support and has the ability to collect child support through various means when the paying parent has continued to be delinquent with their payments. The following types of enforcement can be taken, which will work to put pressure on the parent and also garnish or withhold directly from the parent’s paycheck:

  • Withholding of and reporting of:
  • Employment wages. The employer is ordered to withhold part of the paying parent’s wages;
  • Workers’ compensation benefits;
  • Unemployment compensation benefits;
  • Any new hire reporting, which helps with locating the paying parent.
  • Suspension and denials of:
  • Driver’s license;
  • Passport;
  • Recreational license;
  • Professional occupational license.
  • Interception of:
  • Unclaimed property;
  • Lottery winnings;
  • Federal tax refund offset;
  • Maryland state revenue tax refund offset; and
  • Financial institution data match (FIDM).
  • Judicial actions of:
  • Judgement, as in a lawsuit. If you have been denied payments for years or decades, the amount the paying parent may owe could be into the six digits;
  • Liens on property;
  • Contempt of court, which can result in jail or fines; and
  • Wage garnishment.

Maryland courts may also take enforcement action by issuing credit card reporting, which shows up on the paying parent’s credit card report as a collection account.

In Kind Support Accounts for One Quarter of Support Provided by Low Income Fathers

A recent study found that one quarter of the support offered by low-income fathers was paid in cash goods (in kind support), such as clothing or food, as opposed to payments through the court (formal payments) and cash or checks written directly to the mother (informal payments). In kind support, for the study, averaged about $60 per month, per child. While some level of understanding can be given to very low income parents who are struggling to come up with the finances necessary to make their child support payments, it is unreasonable to put the interests of the paying parent above a child who depends on that support for food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare.

How Common is it to Not Receive Full Child Support Payments?

Unfortunately, you are not alone when it comes to the struggle of receiving child support payments. This is a problem that millions of custodial parents have to cope with every day. According to the U.S. Census, only 45.6 percent of custodial parents received full child custody payments in 2013. 28.6 percent received only partial payments, while 25.9 percent did not receive any payments.

Call Maryland Family Law Attorney Tara K. Frame Today

You are also not alone when it comes to solving this problem. An experienced attorney can help to provide immediate relief by working with the Maryland state court and Child Support Enforcement Administration. Call Frame & Frame today at 410-255-0373.

Resources:

dhr.maryland.gov/child-support-services/child-support-resources/enforcement-tools/

census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/P60-255.pdf

onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jomf.12188/abstract

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