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If your ex doesn't pay child support, you need to know what options you have. The number one tactic that is used is simply withholding portions of their paychecks. This is known as garnishing wages.

This is a popular tactic because it's quite useful and easy to carry out. Wage withholding orders can be created quickly, using sophisticated computer programs. They're also hard to fight. While an ex may ignore a court order and refuse to pay, he or she can't ignore garnished wages, which are taken out of each paycheck before the person is paid.

That being said, wage withholding isn't the only method that can be used. There are also collections agencies that will work with you. They collect the money from your ex and transfer it to you, all for a low fee. If you're tired of calling and asking for the money without getting it, putting someone else in charge can be very helpful.

Of course, in some situations, you may also be able to get unpaid support just by talking to your ex. Maybe he or she wanted to pay, but work was not consistent and money was needed for other things. Now, perhaps your ex has landed a new job and can finally pay. If you're on good terms, working out a deal yourself is fast and effective. One thing to remember when doing this, though, is that the full payments set out in the court order still legally need to be paid — and no less.

Unpaid child support can be very problematic for single and divorced parents in California, and it's important to carefully consider all of the different ways that this money can be paid.

Source: Children's Rights Council, "Collecting Back Payments," accessed Aug. 02, 2016

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