It is the duty of both parents to financially support a child, so they have a roof over their head, nutritious food to eat, and access to medical care as needed. When a parent has sole custody of a child, the other must pay child support.
According to the Washington State Department of Social and Health services, enforcement of child support orders involve many actions. Here are a few of them.
Collecting current support payments
If the non-custodial parent refuses to keep current on payments, the court will notify their employer. From there, the court can issue an Income Withholding for Support or Order to Withhold and Deliver. These orders inform the employer that a certain amount of money should be withheld from paychecks for delivery to the custodial parent.
Collecting past-due child support payments
Income withholding is also useful for back payments owed, but there are several other methods the court uses to collect back support. If the non-custodial parent owns a home or vehicle, seizure and liquidation may occur. Access to the person’s bank account is another possible method. In this case, the court deducts the remaining support owed and provides it to the custodial parent.
Non-payment can also result in criminal charges. While it is often reserved as a last resort, the court can notify a U.S. Attorney and request to file charges. In this case, jail time or fines can also occur.
If the non-custodial parent is late on payments, has missed payments, or refuses to follow court orders, follow up with the court where your divorce took place. Notifying the court allows it to take the proper actions to ensure payment of child support.