When California parents split or divorce, they need to ensure their children’s needs are continually met. This means that the child’s basic needs are covered, such as shelter, food, clothing and a safe environment. In order to ensure this, child support is often ordered and secured by the primary caregiver. While a child support order may detail the money that should be paid on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis, this does not mean these funds are paid and received. Thus, parents should understand how they could enforce the child support order as a means to receive payment.
Child support order
Whether the parents have agreed to an amount in a stipulated agreement or the court set an appropriate amount based on state statute and the situation, once a support order is arrived at, it is filed with the court. At this point, payments will be scheduled to begin. This could be directly from the parent or through income withholding by one’s employer.
Enforcing the order
When a parent refusing to pay child support or is delaying the paying of child support, enforcement actions are available. This could include the suspension of a driver’s license or passport, the revocation of a professional or occupational license, liens on property or bank account, interception of tax refunds and the interception of lottery winnings.
Based on California state law, any unpaid court orders is subject to interest charge. Thus, if a parent fails to pay child support, 10% interest will be charged on the unpaid amount. If such actions do not successfully enforce the order, civil contempt charges could be filed. This could result in fines and even jail time.
Dealing with delinquent child support is not easy. Not only is the other parent not following the order, but the situation could also cause financial hardship for the other parent and the children involved. Thus, it is important to understand not only how to enforce the order but also what steps could be taken to modify the order and avoid possible delinquent payments in the future.