Child Support Enforcement
Child Support Enforcement
Parties must inform Domestic Relations and any other party to the case within seven days, in writing, of any material change in circumstances relevant to the level of support or the administration of the Support Order, including, but not limited to, loss or change of income or employment, change of personal address, or change of address of any child receiving support. A party who willfully fails to report a material change in circumstance may be adjudged in contempt of court, and may be fined and/or imprisoned. Domestic Relations Section is not responsible for notifying the other party of the above changes. If parties fail to comply with their Support Order, further enforcement actions can and may be taken as listed below. The following information describes actions a Conference Officer may take to enforce a Support Order. An Order of Support may consist of a financial or non-financial obligation. Each support case has individual differences that may require special attention by a Conference Officer. If you have questions or want more information about any of the enforcement measures described below, please contact this office directly.
Income Attachment: an income attachment will automatically be sent to the Defendant’s employer unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties and no overdue support is owed. Unfortunately, we are unable to attach wages if the Defendant is self-employed or a sub-contractor. It is ultimately the Defendant’s responsibility to make the support payment if the payment is not or cannot be deducted from his/her check. We may also be able to attach the Defendant’s unemployment compensation and/or social security benefits.
Contempt of Court – if a party has failed to comply with the Court Order he/she may be listed for Contempt of Court, which could result in incarceration. The Domestic Relations Office may attempt to resolve the matter prior to being listed for Contempt of Court by scheduling an enforcement conference with your Conference Officer.
Federal and State Tax Refund Offset Programs: federal and state income tax refunds can be intercepted if the Defendant owes overdue child support. In order for the federal tax refund to be intercepted he/she must owe $150 or more if the case involves cash assistance, or $500 or more for all other cases. A Defendant must owe $150 or more in order to intercept his/her state tax refund.
Financial Institution Data Match: The Court can order financial institutions, such as banks and credit unions, to turn over the defendant’s financial assets to pay overdue support. (Freeze and seize)
Credit Bureau Reporting: If the Defendant is behind more than 2 months in support, his/her name and the amount of overdue support owed may be reported to the major credit bureaus.
License Suspension: If the Defendant owes at least three months of support, not including the current month support, and the Court has not ordered an income attachment, the following licenses may be suspended, denied, or not renewed:
- Driver’s license
- Commercial driver’s license
- Professional or occupational license
- Recreational license (hunting & fishing)
Passport Denial: The U.S. Department of State can deny the issuance, or renewal, of a passport or revoke a passport if a Defendant has child support arrears over $2,500. The total arrears must be paid in full before a passport can be reinstated or reissued.
Lottery Intercept: A Defendant’s lottery winnings of more than $2,500 may be intercepted if overdue child support is owed.
Intercept of Workers Compensation and Lump Sum Personal Injury Payment: The amount of overdue child support owed may be taken from the defendant’s settlement or benefits.
Child Support Recovery Act: Federal law makes it a crime if a Defendant owes more than $5,000 of child support for longer than a year and does not pay the child support for a child who lives in another state. If a Defendant is convicted, the Court will order repayment of the unpaid support. A Defendant can be fined, put in prison up to two years, or both.
Publication of Name: The Defendant’s name may be published in the newspaper if he/she is at least 30 days late in paying child support.
Liens on Real Estate: Overdue support automatically becomes a lien against all real estate that is owned by the Defendant in this state.