Many parents rely on child support to ensure that their children have food on the table and clothes on their backs. It can be stressful and extremely difficult to deal with a parent that refuses to pay child support. Thankfully, North Carolina offers legal options for parents who have unpaid child support that they are legally entitled to collect.
- Child Support Services (CSS)
Child Support Services assists parents who need help collecting support, establishing paternity, or locating a parent. CSS is also the entity that will arrange for child support deductions from a parent’s paycheck each month or from their unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, veteran’s disability, or Social Security benefits. Parents only have to pay a $25 annual fee to use the program unless you qualify for a fee waiver.
- Contempt of Court
Child support is often ordered by a court. This means that if the parent does not pay as required, they are violating a court order. A judge can determine that a parent is in contempt of court and order significant fines to be imposed. Jail time can also be issued in some cases. An experienced family law attorney can help you file the appropriate documentation with the court to get this process started.
- Other Collection Methods
Once you have been successful at your child support hearing, the judge will likely grant you an array of collection methods that are valid under North Carolina law. For example, you may be able to put a lien on the other parent’s home or business. You may be able to seize insurance settlements or personal property (like cars, boats, or other assets). You might be able to seize their tax refund as well.
- Other “Punishments”
Those who do not pay the full amount of child support as ordered by the court can also be punished in a variety of other ways. For example, the contempt of court proceeding could result in the loss of a professional or occupational license, driver’s license, or passport. The other parent will also likely experience a negative effect on their credit report as well.
You may have additional options to help you collect child support. An experienced family law attorney can help you determine your possibilities and decide which collection method will work best for you and your situation. Contact Haas & Associates, P.A. at (919) 783-9669 to set up an appointment.