Once a court puts a child support order in place, the terms cannot be changed, added to, or deviated from in any way without explicit court approval through a subsequent order, or without a written agreement by the parties. Anyone who fails to abide by the terms of a support order in Maryland may be subject to various means of enforcement, ranging from wage garnishment to driver’s license restrictions and even contempt charges or incarceration.
However, knowing you have the right to demand compliance with your child support order and actually holding your co-parent legally accountable are two different things, as experienced child support attorneys know all too well. Whether you want to try addressing this matter without getting the court involved or seek relief through the legal system, guidance from a Frederick child support enforcement lawyer is essential to achieving a successful case result.
Resolving Child Support Issues Outside of Court
In some cases, it is possible and more cost-effective to figure out why someone is not paying their child support on time or in the proper amount, work together to find a solution, and resolve the issue without taking formal legal action. Even if legal action is necessary, it could be a less stressful and more cooperative process with clear communication. For example, if a child’s other parent recently lost their job and is not voluntarily skipping support payments, working with them to petition the court for a support order modification could be in everyone’s best interests.
However, there are many situations where exploring the reason behind missed support payments may not be worth the time and effort—especially if the delinquent parent has a history of flaunting court orders, or hiding assets and refusing to be truthful or responsible for supporting their minor child. A seasoned Frederick child support enforcement attorney can discuss reasonable options for a certain situation during an initial private meeting.
Legal Options for Enforcing Child Support Obligations
When the court system does need to get involved with enforcing a child support order, they have various options for doing so, which include:
- Filing for Contempt of Court and asking for incarceration or for payment in full
- Rejecting applications for passport issuance or renewal
- Garnishing the delinquent parent’s work wages or salary
- Suspending the delinquent parent’s driver’s license or professional license(s)
- Taking support payments out of unemployment benefits, workers’ comp payments, tax refunds, lottery winnings, or other sources of income
In extreme cases, an aggressive child support enforcement lawyer in Frederick can help petition for a delinquent parent to be held in contempt of court at the state level or even request incarceration.. Assistance is also available from the Frederick County Child Support Enforcement Agency, with fee waivers and other services available to families receiving public assistance.
A Frederick Child Support Enforcement Attorney Can Help
Child support enforcement can be complicated in legal, practical, and emotional terms, especially if you try to do it alone while handling your everyday affairs. Support from capable legal counsel can go a long way toward simplifying this process and improving your chances of getting a beneficial resolution for your family.
Speaking with a Frederick child support enforcement lawyer should be a priority for anyone dealing with a delinquent co-parent. Call today for a consultation.