Unfortunately just because a Court orders child support be paid, that does not mean the party responsible for making payment does as ordered. Nonpayment of child support is a serious issue and can lead to a substantial amount of arrears being owed. Arrears are the amount of child support payments that are past due, and if you are owed child support you might seek to have it paid on a retroactive basis. What this means is that your ex has to pay all the back due amount, and keep current on today’s payments.
The child support guidelines requirement payment of all child support, past and present. To get payment retroactively, which means payment for what was due in the past but has not been paid; you must file a contempt of court matter with the Court. A contempt matter sets forth:
● A valid child support order is in place.
● The child support is not being paid as ordered.
● Nonpayment amounts to disobedience of the Court order, which is considered contempt of court.
Your ex-spouse will have to answer to the contempt charges, and may have the opportunity to purge him or herself of the contempt by making payment. If that does not work, you have the ability to seek suspension of your ex’s driver’s license and certain other permits. One very effective way to get paid what is owed is to garnish the wages of the responsible party, which results in a payment stream to you every time a payroll check is issued. If you are seeking retroactive child support, call our office for help. We employ every available tool to get your child paid the support that is due!
For more information about child support, past due obligations, and seeking payment of retroactive child support, contact a Stuart and Treasure Coast family law attorney with experience. The fee for your fist visit is a flat fee and we work with you for a cost effective result.