Let’s face it, being a single parent is no easy feat. Even if the other parent is paying child support, raising children in a one-income household can be incredibly difficult. And if those payments cease, covering those necessities can be a tall order.
A child support order, like any other court order, is binding. If your ex falls behind in child support, it is important to understand what you can, or cannot, do in return.
Here is what you need to do, and a misstep you need to avoid, if your ex fails to pay child support.
Contact the Child Support Agency
The Louisiana child support agency is tasked with collecting and distributing child support on behalf of the receiving parent. And should the paying parent fail to pay, the agency is also responsible for enforcing the child support order. The agency enforces child support payment by locating the non-custodial parent and handling unpaid child support arrears.
Some of the steps the agency can take to recover unpaid child support include:
- Garnishing the paying parent’s wage
- Intercepting any tax refunds
- Withdrawing the paying parent’s driver’s license
What you shouldn’t do if your ex fails to pay child support
You may be tempted to get back at your ex by withholding visitation. However, this can be a costly mistake. It is important to understand that child support and child custody and visitation are two distinct orders. Barring your ex from seeing their children for whatever reason, including on grounds that they failed to pay child support, can lead to sanctions against you. If your ex takes the matter to court, you may face a range of consequences, including loss of primary custody.
Protecting your child’s best interests
Every child deserves love and care from both parents. If your ex has fallen behind in child support, it helps to understand the steps you should take and the missteps you should avoid to address the matter.