Your court ordered child support is something you depend upon every month to provide for your child’s basic needs. When your child support check does not arrive on time, it can have serious negative repercussions for your finances and your family. Sadly, a large portion of the U.S. population is stuck constantly grappling with the problem of unpaid child support. About 11.2 million child support cases have arrears due each and every year. For parents whose former spouses are behind on child support, a variety of enforcement options do exist.
Kansas law requires that both parents pay child support, an amount of which will be calculated by the court. Whether you are divorced, married, or never married, you will need to obtain an official child support order from the court if you want your child support obligation to be enforceable later on.
When the parent ordered to make child support payments stops doing so, the other parent must act in order to collect child support on behalf of their child. Within the Kansas Department of Children and Families is a special division known as Child Support Services (CSS). This division was established to enforce both state and federal laws regarding child support.
CSS is a good resource to collect overdue child support. CSS can use administrative or non-judicial process to locate parents who have disappeared, trace parental sources of income or assets, establish paternity of children born to unmarried couples, establish or modify child support obligations, and enforce child support obligations. CSS also handles all actual payment transactions, with funds going to the Kansas Payment Center before being distributed to parents.
CSS has the power to apply enforcement measures when parents are not meeting their child support obligations. However, the organization is often overloaded with clients and it may be in a parent’s best interests to contact a private family law attorney who can provide individualized attention to your case.
Child support obligations can be enforced through a contempt action. Child support is court ordered, therefore failure to follow that order is an act of contempt. The receiving party who is bringing the contempt action must provide prima facie evidence showing the court has ordered a child support obligation and it has not been met. The paying party will have the opportunity to rebut this evidence.
Civil contempt actions will generally lead to monetary awards, but prison is a possibility. Each day in the U.S., about 50,000 people are placed in prison for failing to pay child support. As such, this is a powerful tool to enforcing your child support obligation.
There are several other ways to enforce child support obligations, including reporting the delinquency to the crediting bureaus, revoking your ex-spouse’s license, including business or professional licensees, or passport. Kansas courts can also even order a non-paying parent to obtain a job so that they can afford to pay child support. Contact a licensed family law attorney today to receive assistance with your child support case.
McDowell Chartered: Kansas Family Law Attorneys Helping You Obtain the Child Support Your Child Deserves
Establishing and successfully collecting child support to provide for your child’s vital needs can be a complex and stressful process. If you are struggling to obtain child support or if your ex-spouse is behind on child support payments, the Kansas Family Law Attorneys at McDowell Chartered can help. We can assist you in filing for and receiving an appropriate child support amount or enforcing an existing order. For help with any family law matter, call McDowell Chartered today at (316) 633-4322 to schedule an initial consultation with one of our professional family law staff.