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What happens if your former partner refuses to pay child support?

After your divorce, you probably experienced many financial changes. The end of a marriage will require adjustments, which is why you may depend on the child support payments you are supposed to receive from your ex-spouse. That money goes a long way in helping you care for your child's needs, including daycare, health care and more. 

It is more than just a little frustrating to find that your ex-spouse no longer wants to pay child support. This is a direct threat on your own financial well-being as well as the well-being of your child. If you are no longer receiving the support mandated in your child support agreement, you have options. It may be possible to pursue an enforcement of the child support order that could compel the other parent to pay.

How does it work?

You may feel hopeless after your ex decides to stop paying support or refuses to pay the full amount. Thankfully, there are laws in place that protect the interests of the child, allowing you to fight for the full amount of the ordered payment on his or her behalf. In this process, your ex-spouse will receive papers demanding that he or she pay.

This may not be enough to compel the other parent to cooperate with the demand to pay child support. If this does not work, authorities can take further action against the other parent, initiating some of the following actions to either collect payment or compel him or her to pay, including:

  • Garnishing his or her paycheck
  • Keeping a portion or all of his or her federal tax refunds
  • Seizing his or her professional or business license
  • Taking property for payment
  • Revoking the parent's driver's license

These are extreme measures but may be necessary to get you what you need to support and care for your child. If you are dealing with issues related to unpaid child support, you may want to explore the options available to you.

Help with enforcement

Enforcing child support orders can be a complicated process, but you do not have to find a solution on your own. If the other parent refuses to pay, one of the first things you may want to do is discuss this matter with a Virginia attorney. He or she can explain your rights and tell you how you can protect your child.

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