Your Rights as a Custodial or Noncustodial Parent

Everywhere in the United States—including the 50 states, Washington, D.C., territories, and tribal nations—parents have a legal duty to support their children financially. The duty exists whether the parents are married, never married, separated, or divorced. If a non-custodial parent fails to pay court-ordered child support, the custodial parent can rest assured that federal and state laws mandate tough enforcement procedures. Those who are delinquent and owe back child support are sometimes called “deadbeat parents.” 

Often the term deadbeat parent is used in the title of state laws about delinquent child support.”Deadbeat parent” isn’t a legal term. Those who are delinquent with their child support payments are said to be “in arrears.” And child support that is owed is called “arrearages.”  When it comes to collecting child support payments, there are a number of procedures that can be used. The primary objective of the child support program is to make sure that child support payments are made regularly and in the correct amount. This article will provide an overview of some of the most common collection procedures from noncustodial parents.

Income Withholding: One of the primary tools or methods for collecting child support payments is income withholding. Income withholding is when child support is automatically deducted from the noncustodial parent’s paycheck and sent directly to the state child support agency, which then disburses the payments to the custodial parent.

Liens and Levies: If the noncustodial parent owes past-due child support, the state may place a lien on their property or other assets to collect the debt.

License Suspension: The state may also suspend the noncustodial parent’s driver’s license, professional license, or any other license that they hold until they catch up on their child support payments.

Contempt of Court: Courts can hold a person in contempt of court for disobeying its legal orders and directives. The power to hold someone in contempt of court arises for the purpose of securing respect for the court’s legal authority and enforcing its orders.In the context of child support orders, state laws grant courts the power to hold a party in contempt of court for not paying child support. A child support order is typically issued by the court. Thus, if someone who owes child support refuses or otherwise fails to make payments, it can be viewed as a violation of a court order. As a result, the court has the power to hold the non-paying spouse in contempt in order to vindicate its legal authority.

The Office of the Attorney General in many states provides handbooks specifically designed for noncustodial parents which provide information about paternity establishment and child support services. These handbooks explain in detail what rights and responsibilities both parties have when it comes to collecting child support payments. In addition, many states also have glossaries which define key terms related to child support such as “prorating” which refers to dividing money from one noncustodial parent among more than one recipient.

If a custodial parent is not receiving timely payments from their noncustodial parent, there are several options available for enforcing payment including filing motions with the court or requesting assistance from local Child Support Services offices. It’s important for both parties involved in a child support case to remember that while these enforcement options may be available, they should always attempt to work out any issues between themselves before involving third parties such as courts or government agencies. Consulting a divorce lawyer in Decatur, Alabama is always a good idea before making decisions about child support.

In conclusion, there are a variety of collection procedures available for ensuring that noncustodial parents make regular and timely payments towards their children’s needs as required by law. It’s important for both custodial and noncustodial parents alike to understand their rights and responsibilities under the law so that any disputes can be resolved without involving third parties such as courts or government agencies whenever possible.

By Rehan

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