If you can, talk to the other parent (or his or her lawyer) before pursuing legal action. He or she may misunderstand the child support order, or have financial problems that make it hard to meet payments. If that's the case, you may be able to come to an agreement without legal action, or modify the court order for child support to make the payments affordable.
If the other parent can't or won't talk to you, you can take legal action. In all states, you can ask the court to hold the other parent in contempt of court, with help from your child support lawyer. This is usually the fastest way to get the payments that are owed to you. Each missed payment can earn a contempt-of-court order from the judge, so a parent who has missed many payments may spend quite a lot of time in jail.
Most areas also have a child support enforcement office to help parents pursue their unpaid child support. These offices usually have the power to suspend a non-paying parent's driver's license, and take part of his or her wages and property to pay off the child support debt. A child support lawyer can help you navigate that bureaucracy and understand which options are best in your situation. Above all, do not deny visitation because of unpaid child support -- you are not allowed to do this, and it could get you in trouble.
Nov 7, 2011 01:12 PM