What If My Spouse is Withholding Child Support?Putnam Law Office
You may be wondering what your legal options are if your ex-spouse is not paying child support, is not making the payments on time, or is failing to pay the correct amount. Since child support is an order issued by the court, you can take legal action when your ex-spouse refuses to meet the outlined requirements of the court order. Child support payments can be enforced in a variety of ways and if none of these methods work, you can take action through family court. Another option is to contact an experienced Oklahoma Divorce Lawyer for guidance.
Consequences of Withholding Child Support
Withholding child support comes with certain legal consequences. The Child Support Enforcement (CSE) program ensures that child support payments are made on time and has the power to initiate different levels of enforcement and penalties when an ex-spouse fails to cooperate with child support orders. A garnishment order from the court can be granted to withhold wages from your ex-spouse to satisfy their child support obligations. This is one of the most commonly used methods to enforce payments.
Other methods of enforcement include withholding or altering income tax refunds, insurance settlements, lottery winnings, and retirement funds. Liens can be filed against your ex-spouse’s property and the CSE can suspend or restrict different licenses. These include driver’s licenses, recreational licenses, sporting licenses, and occupational licenses. Passports can also be denied with the program until child support payments or alternative arrangements are made.
States are required to review child support court orders for families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) every three years to see if any modifications need to be made. Families who do not receive benefits from TANF will need to independently request a review of the child support order after three years from the last review. The only time families who do not receive TANF can request a review for modification in less than three years is if there has been a substantial change in circumstances.
When Child Support May Not Be Enforced
There are cases when the court may not enforce child support orders. This can happen in Oklahoma when your ex-spouse demonstrates that there are extenuating circumstances to not enforce immediate income or other financial asset withholding. Another instance would be if a written, signed, and notarized agreement is made between you and your ex-spouse that temporarily modifies the original child support court orders.
A written agreement with your ex-spouse to modify the child support orders can be done on your own, through professional mediation services, or through one of your family law lawyers. In any case, the judge will have to approve the modification in order for this to take effect.
Divorce Lawyer in Oklahoma
Modifying an existing child support order or attempting to enforce payment of the child support order you are owed by your ex-spouse is not always easy. If you have not been receiving the child support payments you were awarded, you should consult with an Oklahoma Family Attorney. You can call the Putnam Law Office at (405)-849-9149 for a consultation today. Mr. Putnam is an Oklahoma City, OK attorney who is dedicated to his clients.