Child support is intended for the well-being of the child it is supporting and all children are entitled to financial support from both of their parents. For that reason, there are methods of enforcing a child support order that divorced parents should be familiar with.

Methods of enforcing child support

There are several different ways of enforcing child support including:

  • Withholding federal and state tax refunds;
  • Wage garnishment;
  • License suspension of a business or occupational license;
  • Driver’s license suspension;
  • Denial of a passport;
  • Seizing property; and
  • Jail in some circumstances.

Child support enforcement options range from driver’s license suspension to wage garnishment and more serious time in jail. The potential penalties and consequences for failure to pay child support are significant.

In addition to enforcement options that the family law court has, the family law court may also be able to help parents with child support modifications. Either parent can seek a child support modification and the court will evaluate it based on a significant change in circumstances. It is important to continue to abide by any existing child support order, and for the paying parent to continue to pay as much as possible, until the family law court has made any modification.

Child support is an important topic for both paying parents and recipient parents. As a result, both a parent who finds themselves needing to enforce a child support order, and a parent who is struggling to pay child support, should be familiar with child support enforcement and modification options that may be available through the family law process.