Child support enforcement can be a crucial aspect of a custodial parent’s household finances. When the parent who is responsible for child support fails to pay the full amount he or she owes every month, it can begin to erode the financial stability of the child’s household. Aspects of the child’s life such as education, health care, and extracurricular activities may be impacted by the loss of expected child support payments.
There are a number of ways in which a parent can pursue the full child support payments that he or she should be receiving, including:
- Seeking a contempt order against the other parent
- Seeking a judgment for arrears
A parent who has not been receiving the full child support he or she is owed can ask for the state’s help through wage garnishments or the seizing of property. Child support payments are required by law and if the non-custodial parent refuses to comply with the child support ruling, there are measures in place to enforce the agreement. Both the federal government and the state of Utah have methods to collect payments, both on-time and late.
Experienced Family Law Representation Dedicated To Protecting Your Rights And Best Interests
At the Law Office of David Pedrazas, PLLC, attorney David Pedrazas has more than 15 years of experience helping people find their way through challenging family law issues. He understands how important it is for a custodial parent to be able to count on the child support payments he or she should be receiving. Raising a child can be expensive, and David Pedrazas can help make sure your child’s other parent is carrying his or her weight.
Utah Child Support Enforcement Through the ORS
Under the Utah Department of Human Services, there is an Office of Recovery Services, or ORS, that is responsible for enforcing child support agreements. They can provide assistance to both custodial parents who are having trouble collecting their child support payments and non-custodial parents who are having trouble finding the funds. The ORS provides a multitude of services required by law such as:
- Working with other states if the non-custodial parent moves away
- Removing funds directly from the other parent’s account
- Filing liens against houses, cars, and other property
- Reporting missed payments to various credit bureaus
- Suspension of a driver’s license
- Docking funds from other assets such as lottery winnings, tax refunds, and other sources of income
- Holding the parent in contempt of court, including possible jail time.
- Income withholding (from the parent’s paycheck
Taking Your Child Support Arrears Case to Family Court
The Office of Recovery Services (ORS) will try to collect back-owed child support payments if you already have obtained a judgment from the court. Sometimes the methods of the ORS aren’t enough to recover funds that are passed due. The custodial parent can take direct action by taking the case to court and asking a judge to file an enforcement action. The judge can then issue an order that makes the non-custodial parent become current on delinquent child support payments. This will force the non-custodial parent to follow the agreements made in the court order. A Utah divorce attorney can walk you through the process of filing a court order to obtain back child support payments. The statute of limitations for obtaining child support arrears is 4 years and must be established before the child’s 18th birthday. The judge has a few options to enforce the agreement including:
- Issuing fines against the non-custodial parent
- Holding the custodial parent in contempt of court, which could place the non-custodial parent in jail
- Holding the non-custodial parent in jail until the payments (or a significant portion of the missing amount) are made
In order to avoid this unfortunate circumstance, non-custodial parents should always make every effort to make every payment in full and on time.
Using Child Custody as Leverage
No parent wants to lose custody of their children and many custodial parents will try to withhold visitation opportunities from the other parent in order to force the child support payments to be made. Custodial parents need to remember that this kind of retaliation in response to missed child support payments is unlawful. Just as child support payments are ordered by a court of law, the visitation rights are ordered by law as well. Any withholding of visitation rights will be seen as a violation of this court-ordered agreements and could be subject to the same penalties as the missed child support payments above. Nobody wants to face those kinds of penalties, especially in a retaliatory action.
Parents who are going through a child support dispute should always hire an attorney to represent them in these matters. Hiring an attorney means hiring the experience of multiple child support disputes and the expertise to handle the dispute appropriately. Contact our law firm today for more information.
Contact Salt Lake City Child Support Enforcement Attorney David Pedrazas
When your child’s other parent is not meeting his or her child support obligations, having an experienced attorney as your guide can be the best step you can take toward making sure that you are able to effectively pursue the resolution you need. Turn to the Law Office of David Pedrazas, PLLC, for the skill and experience in child support enforcement that you need for a successful outcome. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 801-263-7078 or contact us online.