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Without receiving such financial support, the father would probably not be able to pay the day-to-day expenses required to properly provide care for the child, even on a half-time basis. Being the custodial parent of a child will not in itself guarantee that you will receive child support.
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A number of other legal and practical issues must be considered. These include:. Nonpayment of child support can result in serious sanctions , including paycheck garnishment and loss of professional licenses.
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Child support can help ensure that your child receives important care and services. Determining eligibility and the amount of child support can be a complicated task.
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If you need help determining your eligibility for child support, you may want to speak with a local family law attorney experienced in handling these types of cases. Find your Lawyer Explore Resources For Learn About the Law. Legal Forms. States may require the obligor to post security, bond, or some other guarantee to secure payment of the overdue support.
The state must provide advance notice to the noncustodial parent regarding the delinquency of the support payment and the requirement of posting security, bond or guarantee, and inform the noncustodial parent of his or her rights and the methods available for contesting the impending action, in full compliance with the state's procedural due process requirements. The state must develop guidelines, which are generally available to the public to determine whether the case is appropriate for application of this procedure. The Passport Denial Program is another tool provided to states in collaboration with the federal government.
Noncustodial parents who fail, after receiving appropriate notice, to comply with subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings may also be subject to license suspension or restrictions for use in appropriate cases. States also use civil contempt actions, incarceration, criminal contempt and bench warrants to enforce child support payment compliance. Failure to pay child support is a violation of a court order to pay, and is thus handled as a civil contempt of court case.
A finding of civil contempt in these cases is predicated on nonpayment when the defendant is financially capable of paying, and a defendant can always avoid jail time by either paying the amount owed, or by showing that he is incapable of paying. Because parents have a legal obligation to provide support for their children and failure to provide such support is considered a crime against the state, it is generally known as criminal nonsupport.
Criminal nonsupport statutes exist, in some form, in all 50 states. The severity of the punishment ranges from misdemeanors with small fines and short jail sentences to felonies with high fines and lengthy prison terms. While the elements of the statutes vary from state to state, generally a state must prove that 1 the defendant acted knowingly or intentionally; and 2 the defendant failed to provide support.
How do I get child support?
These methods are often viewed as last resort options. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has primary investigatory jurisdiction. States have the flexibility to use additional tools to enforce child support orders that are not required by federal law or regulations. Examples include the intercept of lottery winnings, public listings of delinquent obligors, the use of car boots, and electronic monitoring. Some states have included more services to noncustodial parents and passed laws requiring job search or other employment training as a way to help parents increase earnings in order to pay child support.
States may intercept funds from lottery winnings to pay child support. Some states are also intercepting winnings from casinos and other gaming establishments. Some states have established programs for the publication of listings of child support obligors who are delinquent in their support payments in newspapers or online. Publications may display photographs of and information about the obligors. The publications often list a toll-free telephone number to report information regarding the whereabouts of any of the obligors displayed in the publications.
Some states use a wheel boot on vehicles of individuals who do not pay child support. The boot immobilizes the vehicle until its owner contacts the state agency and pays or works out a payment plan. If the obligor does not contact the enforcement office after the vehicle has been immobilized, the vehicle may be deemed abandoned and sold.