April 2023

Navigating Legal Procedures and Consequences of Child Support Enforcement

Whether you are a parent or a person involved with child support, it is important to understand the legal procedures and consequences of child support enforcement. Often times, it can be difficult to navigate these proceedings and make the best decision for yourself and your children. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you.

Navigating the Procedures

Each state has its own unique laws and regulations in relation to child support. The most common rule is that both parents must provide financial support for their children. This includes money for food, clothing, medical expenses and other needs. It also includes money to pay for education, and for health care costs that are not covered by insurance.

This obligation is in effect until the children reach their legal age of majority, which is usually 21, depending on the laws in your state. If the non-custodial parent fails to pay court-ordered support, he or she may be criminally prosecuted for this offense and can face serious penalties.

A parent who fails to pay court-ordered support may be issued a warrant to arrest him or her, and the courts can seize the property of the non-paying parent. This can include liens on personal and real property, state tax refunds and pensions. In addition, the non-paying parent may lose his or her license to operate a business or profession.

The consequences of not paying support are significant, and they can be difficult to manage. In some cases, a parent can be arrested, jailed or placed on probation. Moreover, a parent may be required to pay a substantial amount of money for attorneys’ fees and other legal costs associated with the enforcement process.

Arrears and Other Enforcement Actions

The enforcement program has legislative authority to collect overdue child support (arrears) and to obtain medical coverage through a variety of administrative procedures. The agency is required to notify the non-custodial parent of any and all administrative enforcement actions before they take place. These notices contain information about the action, provide a deadline for compliance and tell the non-custodial parent what will happen if they do not comply.

Once an administrative action is taken, a parent who does not respond to the notice will be required to appear before a court judge or hearing officer to show why the action was taken. This is called a “show cause” hearing.

In some cases, a judge or hearing officer will decide to order a parent to pay an additional amount for support that was not ordered in the original child support order. This amount will be a combination of the original support order and the arrears payback amount.

Getting Health Insurance Coverage

The child support system will send a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN) to the employer of the non-paying parent, who will be required to get health insurance for the children under the terms of the support order. If the employer does not offer or cannot get health insurance for the children, he or she will be referred to the Department of Social Services (DSS) for assistance. For more details on child support visit Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law, LLC at https://www.themiamidivorceattorneys.net/.