How can child support be enforced by my ex?

Can child support be enforced?

Your ex has gotten a child support court order against you. That is the first step for getting child support payments. However, that court order does not force you to make the payments. If you are not willing to make payments, your ex can take legal steps to enforce the order.

Wage Assignment

If you are employed, wage assignment is the easiest way for your ex to get child support payments enforced. The wage assignment (garnishment) is issued by the courts to your employer. That order tells your employer to withhold the support payment amount from your wages. The employer then sends the payment to the courts where it is issued to your ex for support of your child.

In the state of California, wage assignments are normally issued when the original court order for support is issued. If you change jobs, a new order is issued to your new employer.

If your employer fails to deduct the wage assignment from your wages, your ex can send a letter to your employer reiterating the legal requirement to enforce the court order. If that does not work, the next step is for your ex to open a case with the local child support agency.

Local Child Support Agency

As long as your ex has a valid child support order, the local child support agency will help with enforcement, free of charge. There are a number of ways they can enforce the court order. Here are a few of the options they might employe:

  1. Reporting the child support arrears to credit reporting agencies. This dings your credit.
  2. File a lien against property that you own.
  3. Request that any licenses you have be suspended. This includes driver’s licenses as well as business and professional licenses.
  4. Intercepting tax refunds issued to you.
  5. Find and seize assets you owns such as bank accounts and stocks.
  6. Taking partial sums from your disability payments, unemployment benefits, and worker’s compensation payments.

Contempt of court

If the LCSA’s efforts fail, the next step is to have the courts issue a contempt of court order. An arrest warrant will be issued. You can face jail time and other penalties until he or she makes arrangements for payment of support.

So. can child support be enforced? Yes, it can. If you owe child support, it is important to make arrangements before getting the courts involved in enforcement. Ann. A. Thomson (Seal Beach family law attorney) can help. Please call 562-431-4333 or contact her online today.


From offices in Seal Beach, the Law Office of Ann A. Thomson serves clients throughout Southern California in communities such as Seal Beach, Santa Ana, Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Corona Del Mar, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Anaheim, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Norwalk, Torrance, Rancho Palos Verdes and Los Angeles.
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