California Child Support Laws:
How To Collect on Arrears
An estimated 37.5 million custodial parents are owed child support arrears in the United States. That is an astounding number. A child support arrear is a past-due child support payment. Fortunately, California child support laws make it very easy for custodial parents to get delinquent, non-custodial parents to pay what is owed.
So, how does one collect on child support arrears? This is a very difficult area, and usually requires the specialized knowledge of a child support lawyer. Parents have a legal right to get help from law enforcement or other government officials in pursuing child support arrears. Contact a child support attorney in your area to determine specifically which government official can help you collect.
STEP 1: Consider getting a court order determining how much is owed.
Under California child support laws, parents that fail to pay and owe arrears are subject to legal penalties. Whether or not you need to get a court order determining arrears depends on the specific facts of your case. If you are seeking to collect base child support only, you probably don’t need to get an order determining arrears. However, if you are seeking to collect reimbursements for day care expenses and/or out of pocket medical expenses for your children, you probably will need to get a court order determining that amount of arrears owed to you.
STEP 2: Get a Writ of Execution.
A Writ of Execution is simply a written court order that enforces a judgement of possession. Basically, it enables the parent to whom support is owed to forced the obligor to pay.
STEP 3: Obtain the Arrear.
This can be done through:
-Interception of tax refunds
-Revocation of a driver’s license
-Revocation of a business license (Doctors, Lawyers, etc.)
A common question asked by obligors is “Can I dispute child support arrears?” The answer to this question is very complicated, but most often California child support laws require the obligor to pay, and those who fail to do so can be charged with contempt of court, resulting in fines or jail time.
In the end, the best course of action is to contact a good child support attorney who will assist you in following the steps listed above.