A Custodial Parent’s Right to Pursue Legal Action against His/Her Former Spouse who does not Pay Child Support

Posted by in Child Support on Apr 28, 2017

A Custodial Parent’s Right to Pursue Legal Action against His/Her Former Spouse who does not Pay Child Support

In the U.S., support for a biological child is declared a legal obligation of parents by the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984. This Act also enumerates the factors that family courts and judges need to consider when resolving child support issues.

This support, which is financial, is intended to cover a child’s basic needs, like food, clothing, shelter, education and health care. Financial support is usually made only until the 18th year of a child; a court, however, may extend it or add to it payment for a child’s further education, summer camps, dental needs and vacations, if the non-custodial parent (or obligor’s) is capable of paying for any, or all, of these. (There is no definite federal ruling regarding the need to support the child for his/her higher education or the need to continue payment of support once the obligor or non-custodial parent dies).

In determining an obligor’s capability to pay, as well as the amount of the regular financial support, the court considers the following factors:

  • Age and needs of the child;
  • Cost of the child’s needs;
  • Parent’s living expenses and the family’s living standard prior to the divorce; and,
  • Parents’ capacity to pay child support. This last factor is usually based on parents’ income, which includes salary, commissions, workers’ compensation benefits, dividends, unemployment benefits, bank account, and so forth.

A child support court decision or agreement is a legal matter, thus, the spouses, especially the non-custodial parent, will have to religiously pay it or suffer contempt of court and face legal punishments, such as fines and imprisonment. (The obligor or even the obligee, custodial parent, can request the court to make changes in the amount of support, though, if their financial circumstances change).

It is explained by The Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, that “Custodial parents can take legal action to enforce every aspect of the child support Order if the child support Obligor fails to provide the financial support he or she is supposed to pay under the terms of the Order. As difficult as it may be for you to take the child support Obligor to court, there is a good chance this may be the only way for you get the child support you are entitled to receive. That being said, you can seek legal assistance from a child support attorney who may be able to help form a take legal action to pursue every payment the child support Obligor has failed to provide.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *