When one parent fails to pay their child support as ordered, this can create a significant hardship for the child and custodial parent. Additionally, some child support administrative and judicial enforcement mechanisms can have harsh consequences. If you are facing these hardships, a Glastonbury child support enforcement lawyer could be instrumental in helping you either enforce your order or defend yourself against allegations of failing to pay by the state.
State law contains various means of enforcing financial support orders. Support Enforcement Services, a division of the state judicial branch, could take action to enforce these agreements.
The availability of some of these tools depends on how far behind in payments a parent is and whether Support Enforcement Services is involved. An accomplished child support attorney could help parents seeking enforcement of their court-ordered child support by explaining their legal options.
Under Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-87, if a noncustodial parent fails to financially support the needs of their child, the other parent may file a petition against them. If the court finds that a parent willfully failed to obey their child support agreement, it can hold this individual in contempt. A child support enforcement lawyer in Glastonbury could help a parent navigate the contempt process.
Potential penalties for failing to pay child-raising expenses may include an order to pay a lump sum payment toward the support owed or jail time. This parent may stay in incarceration until they pay the amount they owe or an amount dictated by the court. Under the contempt statute, the court also may order the parent in contempt to pay the other party’s legal fees.
If a court finds that parents failed to obey the court order on child support, it can order the suspension of their driver’s, professional, occupational, or recreational licenses. Noncustodial parents must be at least 30 days behind on payments to qualify for license suspension.
Other potential enforcement methods may include placing liens on the noncustodial parent’s property, reporting them to credit bureaus, and preventing them from obtaining a passport. The state and federal income tax refunds, lottery winnings, and bank accounts also may be subject to seizure for child support.
One of the most common means of enforcing child support is income withholding orders. When noncustodial parents have income, their child support agreement may become subject to income withholding orders. These direct employers to deduct money from the noncustodial parent’s income to pay their child-raising expenses.
Withholding orders can apply to wages through employment, overtime pay, workers’ compensation, and unemployment or retirement benefits. Employers must send the child support payments to the State Disbursement Unit. A Glastonbury lawyer could help a parent who is having issues with child support enforcement by assisting them in implementing an income withholding order. For more information, contact a seasoned family attorney.
In many situations, child support can be an emotional and sensitive topic for both parties. A Glastonbury child support enforcement lawyer could ease the tensions between the parties to address unpaid support. To protect your right and ensure that you and your child are receiving the financial support you need, schedule an appointment today.