For many custodial parents, child support isn’t funny money – it’s a vital financial resource that can make a significant difference in a child’s general welfare. The State of Florida would be inclined to agree, because failing to pay child support for four consecutive months or owing at least $2,500 in back child support is a felony in this state.
If you’re a parent trying to make ends meet, though, you’d try just about anything to get your child’s other payment to pay child support consistently and on time. Of all things you might try to do, however, you should never refuse to honor the other parent’s custody or visitation rights.
As hard as it may be to let someone else enjoy time with a child for whom they aren’t financially supporting, interfering with custody or visitation orders can be disastrous for you.
Not only could the court award even more time or custody to the other parent, but it can also punish you in the following ways:
- Shifting liability onto you for all attorney’s fees and court costs the father spent to enforce the schedule
- Ordering to perform community service or take a parenting course
- Modifying your parenting plan, which could mean relinquishing your custody or changing your child’s primary residency (if the court believes this is in your child’s best interests)
- Ordering any other sanctions against you that the judge deems appropriate
What Do I Do If They Aren’t Paying Child Support?
If your ex is refusing to pay child support, use the legal system to enforce the court order. Don’t try to go about leveraging payment your own way because something you may do or say to your child’s other parent could jeopardize your interests in child custody.
Contact an attorney who can help you pursue legal action against someone who owes you child support and isn’t paying it. This legal advocate can stand up for you in court and ask the judge to enforce the child support order or hold the other parent in contempt of court.
By taking legal action, you can get child support by getting a court order to withhold your ex’s income, garnish their wages, put a lien against their property, or force a sale of pre-existing assets to pay the child support debt you’re owed. If it comes to it, it may even be possible to send your ex to jail for failing to pay child support.
Remember: Child support debt never goes away. This means your ex can never get out of the debt they owe you – not even bankruptcy will wipe it out.
If you’d like to learn more about how an attorney can help you recover child support from a non-paying parent, contact the Law Office of Russell S. Hershkowitz, L.L.C. online!