An order awarding child support payments may make a custodial parent believe that those payments will always come on time. This can be especially true if the non-custodial parent is to have the payments withheld from his or her paycheck. Unfortunately, there can often be problems with the custodial parent receiving child support payments even when the payments are supposed to come out of a paycheck.
Depending on which state you live in, your payments could also be subject to a delay. For example, it may take a few weeks for the payment order to reach the employer and yet another delay before the payments must start coming out of a paycheck.
What if the payments don’t come, though? The custodial parent has some options available. The first step should be to contact the agency that oversees child support services. In California, that agency is Child Support Services. If you do not find the answers you are looking for, your next step would be to contact the Department of Child Support Services’ Complaint Resolution and State Hearing Program. This is according to a spokesperson for the California Department of Child Support Services.
An Income Withholding Order is how the court orders that child support be withheld from a parent’s pay. It’s not ordered in every case, but it may often be the only way that support payments are collected. For non-custodial parents who constantly change jobs, it could be difficult for the custodial parent and the state to keep the employer notified about the court order. Then the process starts over once again for the state collecting payments from a paycheck.
There are options for those who have difficulty paying or collecting child support payments. Child support modification hearings can be helpful in addressing concerns about payments. An experienced California family law attorney can provide information on this type of civil hearing and how it may benefit you.
Source: Imperial Valley Press, “Why isn’t child support being awarded?” No author given, Feb. 24, 2014