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My child support monthly payment is not being made – what next?

My child support monthly payment is not being made – what next?

It is unfortunate that some Michigan parents who are obligated to pay child support to the custodial parent fail to do so. While there might be viable reasons why they are not able to make the monthly payment as scheduled and in full, simply not paying is not acceptable in the eyes of the law. When the legal obligation is not followed for an extended period and the custodial parent has no alternative, there are steps to take to try and make certain that the supporting parent pays what is owed in one way or another and there are penalties if they do not.

Income withholding will come from a new or modified order of support. The payments will be deducted from the supporting parent’s paycheck. It can also include workers’ compensation, Social Security, unemployment and other benefits. If the parent is due to receive a tax refund, the payment can be intercepted. The threshold for this is $150 from the state and federal returns. If it is non-cash assistance, it is $500. When the payments are not made or there is no medical support, the person will be ordered to appear in court to offer an explanation. Failing to do so can lead to a bench warrant. Property, insurance claims and assets can be subject to lien or levy.

Licenses can be suspended and this goes beyond a driver’s license and expands to professional licenses and recreational licenses. When failing to pay, the supporting parent’s credit score can be negatively impacted with a report to the credit agencies. When trying to renew a passport, this can be denied if the amount that is past due goes beyond $2,500. The medical support notice can be done when the supporting parent is supposed to provide medical coverage and does not. The Qualified Domestic Relations Order pursues a private pension while an Eligible Domestic Relations Order goes after state or federal pensions. Surcharges can be added to a case in which there are past payments due. Finally, there can be criminal charges when the case is referred to a prosecutor. This can be increased to felony charges.

After a couple has decided to end their relationship and there are children involved, it is key that the child receives the financial support needed. Some parents fail to make those payments. Once it reaches the point where there is no choice but to pursue alternative means of enforcement, having legal help is a must. A law firm experienced in all areas of family law from divorce to child custody to child support can help.

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