What can I do if my Ex doesn’t pay Child Support?

286 views 3:27 pm 0 Comments June 21, 2021

What can I do if my Ex doesn’t Pay Child Support? – Today’s guest blog is by the Law Office Of Jeffrey W. Johnson. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Torrance Divorce Attorney.

Child Support

What can I do if my Ex doesn’t Pay Child Support?


You may have sighed with relief when your ex agreed to pay child support in the divorce agreement or after the court issued orders for it. However, life isn’t that simple, which becomes evident when your ex fails to fulfill their obligations. While bills are pending and you don’t have enough money to fulfill all your child’s needs, waiting for child support payment from your ex can be excruciating. It is always possible that your ex forgot to transfer the money or is running late on the payment due to a plausible cause. Therefore, you should try to reach out to them before jumping to conclusions. If they ignore your calls or bluntly refuse to realize their responsibility, then you should consult New York Family Law Attorney to know of your legal options.

Gather necessary documents

In order to take legal action against your ex’s noncompliance, you should possess legal notice that designates you as the custodial parent, as well as an order signed by the court judge that requires your ex to pay child support. Without a court order, any arrangement you may have agreed to privately cannot be enforced by law. If a parent violates judicial orders, he/she will face serious consequences. You should also shell out bank records, which prove that child support is past due or your ex is not paying.

Motion for Enforcement, Contempt, or Order to Show Cause

If you simply want your ex to abide by the court’s directives, the straightforward approach is to file a motion of enforcement. It is recommended to hire a family lawyer to represent you in the resulting hearings. If your claim is justified, the court will use its power to fix the problem. If you want more than receiving the due payment, you may hold your ex in contempt. In case your ex does not comply, you can request the court to put them in jail.

Another option is to file a motion for an order to show cause; if you opt for this method, the court will summon your ex and they will have to provide a reason for falling behind on child support duties. In either case, you and your ex will have the opportunity to justify their case. The court shall then issue an ultimatum if your spouse is capable of shouldering the financial burden. If your ex still doesn’t obey, the court may issue a warrant for their arrest and impose additional fines.

Other ways to acquire your rightful payment

If you are certain that your ex can afford the arrangement of child support, you may directly claim a portion from their income or assets. The first option is an ‘income withholding order’, which allows you to obtain payment from your ex’s employer. A particular amount will be automatically deducted from your ex’s monthly salary before they receive their paycheck. Another similar approach is to request garnishment of your ex’s wages or money in a bank account. The money owed to you can be withdrawn from your ex’s account and be deposited in your bank account. While your future payments become secure, past due payments may not be retrievable.

Under certain circumstances, you can request a court order that requires your ex to liquidity assets for the purpose of compensating you for unpaid child support/alimony. If your ex has no money to garnish but owns wealth in the form of real estate, you may ask for a lien on the property. This way your ex will be deprived of a clear title, prohibiting them from selling the property until they pay off your debt. In case your ex has rental property, a court order can help you receive proceeds directly from the tenant.