When the judge issues the final divorce judgment, the terms of that agreement are legally binding and enforceable. If your ex-spouse was ordered to fulfill child support and has defaulted on their obligation, you could seek enforcement against them for nonpayment. A Washington DC child support enforcement lawyer can help you file a motion for contempt to compel your ex-spouse to comply with their payment requirement.
A party’s failure to comply with their child support could result in civil/and or criminal sanctions. Moreover, the court may utilize a range of different methods to obtain child support owed. A child support attorney can discuss what options you have to seek enforcement and ensure you understand your rights. A lawyer can represent you throughout the proceedings and ease the stress of trying to handle this matter on your own.
Methods of Enforcing Child Support Obligations
After a Washington DC attorney helps the client file a petition for child support enforcement, if the judge grants this motion, there are a variety of different ways in which the noncompliant party’s child support obligation may be enforced. The judge can put liens on the individual’s property holding.
The court can also order the person’s employer to hold back the value of the party’s child support payment before issuing their paycheck. In some cases, the judge may deem it appropriate to take child support out of other sources of income paid to the noncompliant party, such as retirement or disability money.
Potential Penalties for Failure to Pay Child Support
In addition to the penalties associated with being found in civil or criminal contempt for failure to pay child support, the court may assess other sanctions to secure the value of the funds still outstanding. For example, the court could order the revocation of the noncompliant party’s passport and/or driver’s license. Depending on the extent of the child support owed, the court may order the seizure of the individual’s financial accounts.
Motions for Civil and Criminal Contempt
There are two ways in which a non-paying parent could be found in contempt of court. When the injured party files a motion for civil contempt, their Washington DC child support enforcement attorney would be required to show that the non-paying parent owes at least a month in child support. They would also need to show that the non-paying parent is capable of meeting their child support obligation.
If the party is found to be in civil contempt of their child support order, the court could require them to pay the full amount owed either all at once or in installments. The individual could also be ordered to serve a certain period in jail.
If the court attempts to enforce the child support order, and the parent continues to disregard their obligation, the judge may find hold them in criminal contempt. The legal punishments associated with a finding of criminal contempt can be steep, including up to 12 months’ incarceration and a fine amount.
Get Advice from a Washington DC Child Support Enforcement Attorney
If your former spouse will not comply with their child support obligation, you likely feel frustrated, upset, and unsure of what your rights are. A Washington DC child support enforcement lawyer could take over your case and aggressively advocate to enforce your child support order.
A lawyer could file a motion for contempt on your behalf and present a persuasive case before the judge. If you need help enforcing an order for child support, call today, and schedule your case review with a Washington DC attorney to discuss the next steps.