Legal Professional?
Build Your Business

Enforcement of Your Child Support Agreement

If you have custody of your child, the court probably ordered your child's other parent to pay you child support. Unfortunately, sometimes parents fail to meet their child support obligations even if you are entitled to receive child support. If the other parent isn't living up to the agreement, you need to take steps to ensure enforcement of the child support agreement. Child support is your child's right and sometimes you must fight for it.

Child Support Guidelines

Every state has child support guidelines. These guidelines establish the amount of support a person must pay to support their children. The guidelines are the key ingredient in calculating child support. Common factors in child support guidelines include the income levels of both parents, the assets of each parent, the medical needs of the child and any other extraordinary expenses. The guidelines differ from state to state. This means that you should consult an experienced attorney to ensure that you are receiving the right level of child support.

A child support order provides that a noncustodial parent - or the parent who does not have primary custody - must pay a certain amount of money in child support. If a person does not make their child support payments, the other party needs to enforce the child support agreement.

Most of the time "child support payments" are made once a month. In some states, parents make child support payments to a state agency, which tracks the payments and then forwards the money to the custodial parent In other instances, one parent will send directly to the other parent, or the payments will be deducted from paychecks.

Most states have a state agency responsible for child support enforcement. In Florida, for example, the Department of Revenue has the responsibility for enforcing child support orders. In Tennessee, the Department of Human Services helps individuals enforce their child support agreements. And in Virginia, the Department of Social Services has the duty to enforce child support orders. Check with your attorney to see what state agency will help to ensure you receive your court-ordered money.

When a parent falls behind on his or her child support payments, we say that person is in arrears. A child support arrearage refers to the amount of money that the person owes in back child support. Your attorney or the state agency that oversees child support payments can help you collect child support arrearages.

Do not waste time in enforcing your child support agreement. Consult with your attorney and appropriate state officials to ensure your children receive the necessary support they deserve. The law allows it and your children need it.