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Custodial parents in California are entitled to pursue child support enforcement if the court ordered amount is not paid. The welfare of children of divorced parents can be in jeopardy if support is not received, because it is often difficult for a single parent to ensure proper care for children without the financial contribution of the other parent. If communication fails to resolve the issue, the custodial parent may have no choice but to go to court and pursue enforcement action.

Each state has various methods that are used to collect unpaid child support. In some cases, the child support agency can arrange to withhold income or garnish wages with the employer of the noncustodial parent. If there are any government benefits or tax refunds due for that parent, the agency may take it for application as child support. Other payments that may be intercepted include gambling and lottery winnings, Social Security and more.

More drastic steps may include liens on the noncustodial parent's real estate, bank accounts, cars or other property. That person is then prohibited from selling the attached property before paying the government. To prevent a non-paying parent from leaving the country, his or her passport may be confiscated. License suspension is another method used to attempt to get child support payments, and if all else fails, the parent may be incarcerated.

However, communication and compromise may produce more positive results. A consultation with an experienced child support attorney may pave the way to negotiations in which divorced parents can agree on a temporary reduction of child support - especially if the noncustodial parent has had a financial setback. A child support modification petition may be filed, and an attorney can provide support and guidance through the legal processes that will follow.

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