Enforcement measures can be taken against parents who fail to pay child support ordered by the court. This includes a suspension of support obligations as well as arrears. These enforcement actions can be taken either by the state child support enforcement agency or individually with the assistance of a private attorney. States have many tools available to parents to help them comply with child support orders and to ensure that they are paid.
Enforcement action could include automatic income withholding, where a parent’s wages automatically adjust so that the employer can directly deduct the child support amount from the parent’s paycheck. Other enforcement actions include the seizing of assets, tax refund offset programs, and driver’s and recreational licenses as well as business and passport reporting. Non-paying parents may face criminal or civil contempt of court charges.
States have a lot of flexibility when deciding which cases they will pursue. They can also pursue the cases that are most likely to lead to a positive outcome. States must establish procedures to determine when they will enforce penalties. Some states may waive certain enforcement strategies like state income tax refund offsets, reporting credit bureaus, or placing liens upon property, if they determine that the mechanism is inappropriate depending on factors such as the availability and payment record.
A lien is a legal instrument that a state child support enforcement agency can place on the property of a parent for unpaid child support. A lien is a notice to other parties that money is owed. Before a lien can be implemented, the state must have established procedures. If the parent attempts to sell the property the title or deed can be obscured and prevent the sale. Before the asset can transfer, any lien must be paid. A lien can be broad and could apply to all property owned by the parent at the time the lien was recorded. It may also apply to the property later acquired. Liens can be in place for many years.
The state might be able to help locate the parent’s property. States have data matching systems that allow financial institutions, brokers, and insurance companies to report assets owned by individuals. This information is shared with the state child support enforcement agency and matched with parents who have an amount in arrears. This system can be used by the child support enforcement agency to impose a lien upon the property or to seize assets from those who owe back support.
Filing a Lien
The custodial parent files the lien in the county where the property is situated. In some states, the custodial parent must obtain a judgment against the parent who is not the parent of the child. The most common way to place a lien on the property is to let the court order the placement of a lien if the noncustodial child support payments are not made.
Custodial parents may be able to hold off until the property is fully refinanced or sole before they are paid. He or she might also be able to forcibly sell the property. Any remaining mortgages must be paid before the lien can be removed. The lien is usually in effect until all child support owed has been paid. The lien remains in place until the child no longer has child support rights. A custodial parent can also remove the lien.
There are certain legal steps required to file a lien. An attorney can ensure that these steps are followed. Noncustodial parents can also seek representation from a family law lawyers surrey bc to stop a property lien from affecting their ability to pay child support.