If you and your child’s father or mother are no longer together and aren’t on good terms, you may be struggling to receive your rightfully deserved child support payments. If they’re not cooperating with you and refuse to send payments, there are many legal steps you can take to ensure you get the money you are legally entitled to.
Obtain a Child Support Order
In order to rightfully receive child support payments, you need an order signed by a Judge saying that your ex must pay them. Without the order, they don’t legally owe you any money. Make sure you have the order, and then review past child support orders to confirm that there are payments are past due.
Depending on how your ex had paid child support in the past or was supposed to pay will determine how you will gather evidence that they aren’t paying it. If they pay by money order or check, pull bank records from your account showing you didn’t get a check deposited. You can also pull canceled checks.
Ask Court For Child Support Enforcement
At this stage, you go to the courts, and you will file a pleading with the clerk of the court to reopen your case. You may ask for a Motion for Enforcement, a Motion for Contempt, or a Motion for Order to Show Cause. The first option is simply asking your ex to comply with paying the child support they owe.
A Motion for Contempt means you’re asking the court to hold your ex in contempt, meaning not only do they have to pay what they owe, but they are being charged for disobeying the court. You may even request that they be jailed if they don’t pay what they owe.
The last option is the strictest one, in which the request comes from the Court instead of from you. Once the motion is filed and your ex is notified, they must go to court and partake in a hearing. They may be asked questions and cross-examined about why they failed to pay child support. If everything goes as it should, the Judge then orders them to pay the money. They may even issue a warrant for their arrest if the payment isn’t made by a certain day.
Ask For Income Withholding Order
If they still refuse to pay future child support payments after accounting for past due ones, you may ask for an income withholding order. With this method, your ex’s employer deducts a certain amount of money from their paycheck and goes straight to you. The money will be coming “off the top ” of what they earn, similarly to how health insurance or 401(k) payments work.
Garnish Their Wages
Another option is requesting a garnishment of your ex’s wages or other sources of money. This option is only available for future child support payments, and not past due ones. The state can also intercept money from their tax refund.
Contact Us Today
As the paying parent, the process of getting child support from your uncooperative ex can be very frustrating. Going through the legal process alone can be even more frustrating, and extremely confusing on top of it. You want to make sure you’re gathering the right evidence, taking the right steps, talking with the right people, and choosing the right options.
Working with the Law Office of Jesse Hernandez will take the uncertainty out of the process. Our team has worked on countless child support cases and can guide you in the right direction to get the money you deserve. For criminal defense lawyers in Austin who will fight for your rights, contact our team.