What Should I Do If My Ex Is Not Paying Child Support?
Child support payments can be awarded as part of a final divorce decree. Despite the fact that these awards are legally binding court orders, not everyone will comply with them, sometimes leaving one parent to have to pursue enforcement options.
If you have not been receiving the child support payments awarded to you by a divorce court, you may have a few options for enforcing the orders, including turning to:
- The Nevada Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) – The DHHS’s Child Support Enforcement Program (CSEP) can provide enforcement assistance to parents when it comes to locating a missing parent, establishing paternity, reviewing existing child support orders and enforcing child support/medical obligations. CSEP may even file collection requests with the court, seeking administrative or other penalties against non-paying parents.
- The court – Alternatively, parents can also file motions with the court when child support orders are violated. In these cases, the court can order that the non-paying parent’s wages be garnished or his or her tax refund(s) be seized. The court may even place liens against the non-paying parent’s property.
- More potential penalties for the non-payment of child support in Nevada – In addition to financial penalties like wage garnishments, parents who have been ordered to pay child support but don’t can also be subject to criminal enforcement in Nevada. In particular, a first offense involving child support debts of less than $10,000 can result in penalties of up to 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines. For subsequent offenses (or cases in which more than $10,000 is owed), non-paying parents can be sent to prison for as long as five years.
- Withholding custody or visitation – Not receiving child support payments can be as emotionally distressing as it may be financially challenging. Trying to force the payment of child support, however, by preventing a parent from seeing children is not the answer. That is because withholding a visitation or custody can result in another violation of a court order, causing more legal problems for parents who are trying to get child support.
- Modifying custody or visitation orders – Instead of withholding visitation or custody when child support payments have not been received, seeking a modification of the visitation/custody order with the court is a far better option.
Need help requesting, modifying or enforcing child support orders? If so…