I Am Not Receiving My Child Support—What can I do?
While both parents are expected to care for their children after a divorce, the parent with the larger income is expected to pay child support to ensure that food, housing, clothing, and medical expenses are covered.
In the state of Maryland, child support decisions are determined based on child support guidelines.
If you are the parent with physical custody and make less money than your former spouse or partner, a child support attorney is a vital tool to help ensure a better financial settlement.
How Can a Child Support Attorney Help Me?
While a child support attorney is not necessary—there are plenty of online tools you can use to determine the basic amount of child support you are entitled to receive—an attorney can help guide you through issues regarding child support, especially if it is part of a child custody dispute during a divorce.
But What if I’m Not Getting Paid?
There are several different ways to enforce unpaid child support, but the main way is through the Maryland Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA), which is the enforcer of both state and federal laws regarding child support.
Child support is paid directly to the CSEA, which provides funds through an electronic payment card system. Only CSEA can add funds to the card, which prevents parents having to pass checks or squabble over money in person.
Some CSEA moves include:
- Intercepting state and federal tax returns or lottery winnings to cover the amount of child support in arrears.
- Referring cases to the U.S. State Department, which will deny or revoke passports.
- Suspending a parent’s driver’s license or occupational licenses to encourage payment.
- Ensuring that parents who aren’t paying support can have their wages garnished by tracking employment history.
- Garnishing bank accounts to collect child support payments.
- Reporting nonpaying parents to the three main credit bureaus, damaging their credit.
- Placing liens on houses or other property.
- Taking money from unemployment or workers’ compensation payments to cover child support payments.
However, all these things can take time, and many moves can reduce income, making it more likely that the nonpaying parent will have a more difficult time staying on top on present payments.
While it is obvious that CSEA can enforce payment if parents are not meeting their obligations, it could be in a parent’s best interest to find a child support attorney who can go to court and argue to a judge on their behalf. Hiring an attorney could be a more effective and efficient move, since it can take time for CSEA to act.
Are You in Search of a Child Support Attorney?
Located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Rowena N. Nelson’s offices serve the entire state of Maryland.