Are you supposed to be receiving child support every month and you’re not receiving those payments even though you have a child support order?
Hi, I’m Marie Drake of the Drake Law Firm. And today we’re going to talk a little bit about enforcement of child support orders. The caveat here is that these tips are for the parent who has already reached out informally to the other parent requesting that child support be brought up to date and that the payments continue, the missing payments need to be paid. And if that parent is unresponsive, then the first tip I have for you is to go ahead and contact child support services in the county where the order was issued. If child support services are not particularly responsive or you don’t feel like you’re getting results from them, then the next step is to consider some sort of motion with the court. It can be a motion for contempt citation, could be a motion for enforcement. There are a number of enforcement procedures you can pursue legally. The next step is to make sure you’re documenting and tracking the child support payments that have come in. Make sure you have a date of when they’ve come in and some sort of documentation, whether it’s a bank statement or a statement from Venmo, if you’re getting it that way, I don’t recommend that the parties exchange cash for child support, though, because that’s just a lot harder to track and you’d have to do a handwritten receipt, it would be silly. So I don’t recommend cash for this but if you have a copy of the check or a copy of the bank statement, something that shows the child support came in, keep track of it, it’s really important. If you end up having to file an enforcement action with the court regarding back child support, you may be ordered to mediation before the court will set a hearing.
At least that’s been my experience. And what we do is we pick an experienced mediator who we’ve been working with for years and years and years and have that person meet with us, usually over Zoom with both parties. And if both parties have attorneys then the attorneys. And most of the time, frankly, those disputes are resolved in mediation. If they are, you don’t have to set a hearing. You just have to file your agreement with the court. I’m not usually in the business of telling people they don’t need a lawyer, but you really actually don’t need a lawyer to do this. However, you need to know it’s not a particularly intuitive process, and that’s where we do come in. We’ve been doing this sort of thing since 1999 and we’re happy to help. Here at the Drake Law Firm we have experienced attorneys and we’re standing by if you do need help with your child support enforcement action.