Whether you have just left your partner and are waiting for a divorce hearing or finalized your divorce a while ago, if you have more parenting time than your ex, you probably spend a lot more money on the care of your children than they do.
The courts try to offset that additional cost incurred by the parent with primary custody by ordering child support payments from the other parent. Although child support really only represents a fraction of what it costs to care for a child and provide them with the basic necessities of life, it is still an important resource for divorced families and single parents in Arizona and around the country.
Sadly, not all parents choose to cooperate with the obligation to provide financially for their children. Some parents will even go to extreme measures to avoid taking responsibility for the financial costs of their child's upbringing and upkeep. If you receive child support payments, it can be very frustrating to deal with a parent who simply doesn't want to pay.
Child support is a court order that carries legal authority
The first thing you should understand is that child support is not a polite suggestion on the part of the courts. It comes in a court order with the full authority of the state behind it. The courts make every effort to set amounts that are fair and reasonable for the person paying.
When your ex doesn't pay child support, they don't just disappoint you and fail to provide for their children. They also fail to fulfill legal obligations set for them by the state. That means that you can ask the state to step in and help resolve the situation if your ex simply won't cooperate.
Enforcement efforts can help induce someone to pay support
While the courts can't forcibly take assets from your ex, they can take many steps that can both connect you with some of the money owed and impress upon your ex the importance of following through with payment of their ordered support.
If your ex has a stable job, the courts can work directly with their employer to garnish their paycheck and ensure you receive your money before your ex gets theirs. If your ex has unreliable pay or works under the table for cash, the courts can take other steps.
They can seize their income tax return or gambling winnings processed by the state. They can also refuse to renew professional licenses, driver's licenses and recreational licenses because of unpaid child support. In the event that your ex firmly and blatantly refuses to fulfill their financial obligations to your children, the courts can even issue a bench warrant for their arrest for contempt of court.
It can be difficult to deal with a recalcitrant parent who doesn't want to pay child support. However, there are many options available to individuals struggling to make their payments, including the right to request a modification if they qualify. Asking the state to enforce the child support order is important because it prioritizes your children's needs.