Child support is important for children and families. Children have a right to financial support from both of the parents. For that reason, it is helpful for both paying parents and recipient parents of child support to be familiar with how child support is enforced.

Child support enforcement options

There are several child support enforcement options the family law court may consider to enforce child support obligations including:

  • Withholding federal and state tax refunds – state and federal tax refunds may be intercepted to pay child support obligations.
  • Property seizure – property belonging to the non-paying parent may be seized to pay outstanding child support obligations.
  • Wage garnishment – the paying parent’s wages may be garnished is they fail to pay the child support they owe.
  • Suspension of an occupational or business license – a business or occupational license may be refused or suspended if the applicant has unpaid child support.
  • Suspension of a driver’s license – the paying parent’s driver’s license may be suspended if the parent fails to pay child support.
  • Denial of a passport – a passport may be denied to the paying parent if they have unpaid child support they have not paid.
  • Jail time – in some circumstances, nonpaying parents can face jail time for failing to pay child support according to a valid child support order.

Failing to pay child support can carry heavy consequences and penalties for the paying parent. In addition to child support enforcement methods, the family law process also provides resources to help paying parents with child support modifications if and when needed. Both paying parents and recipient parents should be familiar with all of the legal resources available to them through the family law system to help address their child support needs and concerns.