It happens more often than not that the noncustodial parent does not pay the child support to the custodial parent. If you’re not receiving the child support payments that you’re due, there are various remedies at your disposal to get the unpaid child support.
What remedies can be utilized?
At the time of the child support order, the judge can order that the non-custodial parent’s child support amount be taken from their salary. This is done by their employer. Then the employer will pay over the money to the custodial parent. When the parent change employment, they must file the changes with the clerk of the court. The clerk will then ensure that the new employer is aware of the arrangement and that the child support payments continue.
If the noncustodial parent does not make child support payments than their driver’s license or professional license can be revoked or suspended. However, the custodial parent must first contact the Child Support Services Division (CSSD) and inform them that the noncustodial parent is not making the payments as required.
The noncustodial parent must be $500 or more in arrears, before this remedy can be used. The CSSD will inform the noncustodial parent in writing 45 days before they revoke or suspend the license. The affected parent will not be able to renew the license unless the amount is paid or there they have arranged with CSSD for the payment to happen. During the 45day grace period, the noncustodial parent will also be able plan for the payment, and then their license will not be impacted. This plan must be submitted to the CSSD and they must approve the repayment plan.
Federal and State Income Tax Offset
If the noncustodial spouse is $150 or 3 months behind in child support payments to a custodial spouse that receives Temporary Assistance for Needy Family then the custodial parent might be entitled to the federal tax return. However, this is only the case if the spouses file a joint tax return. If the custodial spouse does not receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Family than the arrear payment increases to $500 and also 3 months.
However, if the noncustodial parent is $100 in arrears in child support, the custodial parent is entitled to the state tax return of the noncustodial parent. There are no other conditions that must be met for the interception of the state income tax offset.
If the noncustodial parent receives any payment from the Federal government, then it can be subjected to be intercepted for the payment of arrear child support. However, the same criteria must be as with the interception of the Federal Income Tax offset as mentioned above. However, there are exceptions to this remedy. These exceptions are the following:
- benefit payments from the Department of Veteran Affairs
- payments made by the Department of Education under Title IV of the Higher Education Act
- Social Security payments
- Railroad Retirement
- payments made under Part B of the Black Lung Benefits Act
- payments made under means-tested programs that, upon request, are exempted by the head of the Federal agency which administers the program
- any type of payment, upon the written request of the head of the agency which authorizes the payments, if the offset would tend to interfere substantially with, or defeat the purposes of, the payment agency’s program
- payments made under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (except Tax Refund payments)
- payments made under the tariff laws of the United States
- Federal salary payments
It is possible to intercept unemployment insurance benefits if the noncustodial parent is behind on payments. If the parent does not receive these benefits than there can be a lien placed on their money that is held with financial institutions such as banks and Federal and State Credit Unions. To be able to intercept the money at these institutions, the child support arrears amount must be at least a $1000.
If the child support is in arrear for a $1000 or more, then there can be a lien placed on certain insurance claims, settlements and awards that the noncustodial parent is entitled to. These types of claims include third party injury claims, workers compensation claims and other liability claims.
When the child support payments are in arears of more than $2 500 and the spouses make use of the Federal Income Tax Offset interception as mentioned earlier than the IRS automatically refer the matter to the US Department of State for passport refusal.
What must I do if I do not receive the child support payments?
It is always important to inform your lawyer when you do not receive the payments as agreed upon in the settlement. You can also file a claim for $25 with the Child Support Service Division (CSSD). The CSSD will help you to get a court date or a mediation hearing to hear from the noncustodial spouse as to why there are no payments being made.
During the court hearing the judge will ask the noncustodial parent as to why no payments are made. If the parent cannot give a good enough reason then the judge can fine the parent $1 500 and/or sentence the parent to a year in jail. The judge will try to avoid giving jail time as this will also have implications on child support payments.
Your lawyer will file a court application to force the parent to pay child support. You can file the paperwork yourself, however, it is not always recommended. Your lawyer must be an experienced family law practitioner.
Receive the Financial Child Support You Deserve with Help from a Family Law Attorney
Luckily, there are very good lawyers in Greenville, SC that will be able to help like Elliott Frazier. With years of experience in family law and child support cases, Elliott Frazier can help fight for you in court so you can start receiving the financial assistance you need in order to care for your family.
Angela Elliot Frazier is a Family Law Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years now. Angela Frazier believes in helping you through one of the most stressful times of your life. Learn more about her experience by clicking here.