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What to Do When Your Ex Stops Paying Child Support

Posted by Ahluwalia Law Professional Corporation | Feb 20, 2019 | 0 Comments


It's your four-year-old daughter, Ada, and she's using that voice. The one that is usually followed by “I spilled juice on the rug” or “Spot ate a crayon.”

You look up from the computer. Ada is standing in the doorway to your home office, one foot extended to show you the hole in the sole of her sneaker.

“I need new shoes,” she says.

You nearly exclaim, “Already?” But you don't. It's not her fault: she's an active four-year-old who gives her clothes a run for your money. The problem is that her father – your ex – has not paid child support for two months now.

Instead, you tell her that you'll take her shopping for a new pair after dinner. Mentally, you make a note to stop by your sister's house en route to the mall to borrow the money.

Enforcing a Child Support Order in California

In California, child support is payable until your daughter turns 18 unless she has not yet graduated from high school, in which case the age limit is 19. Your ex started disengaging by being late for visits and making excuses for not showing up. Then he stopped paying child support two months ago.

What can you do?

Fortunately, you have access to help. The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 requires the State's Attorney or District Attorney's office to help you collect outstanding child support. You can also contact the Department of Child Support Services or your Local Child Support Agency and hire a California child support attorney who will help you take legal measures to collect the amount owed.

You have up to three years to bring a motion for contempt against your ex for nonpayment of child support. If a judge concludes that he intentionally disobeyed a valid court order, he can be held in contempt of court. If he is held in criminal contempt, he could spend time in jail or be ordered to pay a fine. A civil contempt charge can also result in jail time, with your ex only being released after he pays a specified amount of the past-due support.

Additional penalties may include:

  • Garnishing his wages or other income sources
  • Garnishing his bank account
  • Seizing and selling his property to pay the amount owed
  • Placing a lien on his property
  • Preventing the ability to obtain or renew a driver's license for being over 30 days in arrears
  • Preventing the ability to obtain or renew a passport
  • Lowering the credit rating after the DCSS reports him to the credit reporting agencies

Additionally, your ex may be ordered to pay your attorney fees and other costs associated with enforcing the support order.

Child support is owed until it's paid, even after your child becomes an adult. Ada is four now, but if her father persists in dodging his obligations until she turns 18 and you file a contempt motion against him every three years, he remains on the hook for paying 14 years' worth of support. With accrued interest, that's a sizeable amount; but having said that, you need money for Ada now. This is where Ahluwalia Law P.C. can help.

Get Help With Your California Child Support Situation

Child support arrears have a negative effort on the child and her worried custodial parent. Attorney Madan Ahluwalia will help you fight to collect the money you are owed and provide strong, trustworthy representation at all child support proceedings. For more information, contact Ahluwalia Law P.C.

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