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Enforcing child support payments

On Behalf of | May 5, 2023 | Child Support |

Parents who are awarded child support rely on that income to take care of their children. If the parent who owes the child support does not pay, there are options to address it.

Child support overview

Child support is the financial obligation paid by a non-custodial parent to a custodial parent to care for their child. The amount of child support is determined by the court. The court takes into consideration the incomes of both parents, how much time each parent spends with the child and other relevant factors.

The payments are intended to be used for clothing, food, education and other necessities for the child.

Payment enforcement

The most common method to enforce child support payments is having it deducted from the paying parent’s paycheck. The court orders the paying parent’s employer to withhold the funds and to send them to the state of California, which then distributes the payment to the parent who is owed.

The court may also hold the non-paying parent in contempt of court. This may cause the non-paying parent to face fines, jail time or both. The court may also suspend their driver’s license or professional license until they are current on payments.

The tax board can intercept tax refunds that are owed to the non-paying parent and apply them to child support payments. The state can place a lien on their property, like a house or car, to collect outstanding payments.

The California Department of Child Support Services enforces child support orders in the state.


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