My Ex Won’t Pay Child Support, What Can I Do?
If child support has not been established by Court order, then a Complaint for Child Support should be filed to start the process. During the child support case, information will be exchanged regarding income, the costs of work-related childcare and health insurance and extraordinary medical expenses for the children. You may be ordered to go to mediation. If an agreement cannot be reached, a hearing will be held before a Judge or Magistrate. The number of overnights each parent has with the children can also play an important role in establishing child support. You can request that child support be paid directly to you or through your local Office of Child Support Enforcement.
If child support has already been court-ordered, but there is a refusal to pay, then you will need to file a Petition for Contempt. The Court will then ask the accused to appear in Court and “show cause” why he/she should not be held in contempt. If an agreement between the parents cannot be reached, the Court will hold a hearing. At this hearing, the parent seeking to enforce the child support order must prove the specific amount owed, establish the failure to pay, and demonstrate that the failure to pay was willful. If contempt is proven, the Court will give the parent the opportunity to “purge” the contempt or face additional consequences. The purge provision may include, but is not limited to, payment of the support and payment of the other parent’s legal fees. If there is a failure to purge, then additional consequences may be imposed by the Court.
If child support has been established or maintained through the local Office of Child Support Enforcement, they can also assist with enforcement of support Orders or agreements.
When an ex refuses to pay child support, it can be extremely stressful. We understand how difficult it can be and work with our clients to make sure they have the financial support they need to take care of their children.