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Common Court Tactics for Enforcing Orders
A child support or alimony order may need to be enforced for a variety of reasons. The paying parent may have lost their job, encountered a medical emergency, or simply got tired of making the payments. Whatever the reason, failing to comply with a court order is serious and requires the need for certain steps to be taken by a judge.
Depending on the circumstances, a judge can choose from several different remedies to make the delinquent parent pay. These remedies can be escalated if the parent still refuses to make payments.
Some of the most common methods for enforcing orders include:
- Contempt of court: a judge punishes the non-paying parent for violating a court order by imposing fines or even jail time;
- Income withholding: requiring the spouse’s employer to withhold the payment amount from their paycheck instead of sending it directly to the supported spouse;
- Writ of execution: a judge chooses to award the supported spouse with a portion of the paying spouse’s bank account and other assets;
- Income tax intercept: diverting federal and state income tax refunds from the paying spouse to the supported spouse.
In extremely serious child support cases, unpaid orders are referred to as Criminal Non-Support Units. Parents who fail to pay support for more than 26 out of 104 weeks can face harsh criminal penalties and may even be charged with a felony.
Unpaid orders are more than just an inconvenience – they are a direct violation of the law. It is time to hold your ex-spouse accountable for their behavior and stand up for what you deserve.