Attorneys: A History of Helpfulness

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Attorneys: A History of Helpfulness

Attorneys in our day are often called bottom feeders, ambulance chasers or worse. I am an attorney in private practice, and it is my mission to show you that the law is a calling filled with noble and enthusiastic people who are doing the job to help others. The law can be incredibly confusion, and it seems to change drastically day by day. Attorneys are there to help clients navigate the murky waters of legal issues and find the most appropriate solution to problems they face. So don't think of a lawyer as the bad guys. Lawyers help people, and this blog will teach you how.

How To Handle A Inattentive Ex-Spouse

When the court orders a parent to pay child support, it's not just a suggestion. Child support enforcement is a serious issue because of the way the courts protect minor children when the parents part ways. You don't have to sit back and do nothing as the child support payments fall further and further behind. Read on and find out what rights and powers the custodial parent has when child support payments stop.

A Financial Obligation 

While many divorce issues are best left up to the divorcing parties, child support is not decided on by the parents. Rather, the courts make child support decisions based on several factors such as parental income, child custody, the state's median income, and more. The family court system holds the health and welfare of a minor child to be of the utmost importance. They not only make the decision about who must pay and how much should be paid but also what can happen when the parent fails to pay.

When Parents Don't Pay

Any time a court order is not followed, the perpetrator can be charged with contempt of court, and they can even be put in jail and fined. However, judges only take these measures when it comes to enforcing child support orders occasionally. After all, a jailed parent is not usually able to work and pay their obligation. That doesn't mean, though, that the courts and child support enforcement agencies are powerless to punish a deadbeat parent.

What a Parent Can Do 

Take these steps when a parent begins to get behind on payments:

  1. Find out what is going on with the ex. They may be seriously ill or even unemployed. Though none of those issues are reasons for not paying child support, you should try to gather information. Many parents want to fulfill their financial obligation but get temporarily behind on payments.
  2. Speak to your lawyer. Your divorce lawyer who deals in family law matters can help you understand your rights. They might also send a warning letter to your ex reminding them of their duties and threatening further actions.
  3. Contact your local child enforcement agency. Many agencies have the power to take major actions like garnishing your ex's pay for the ordered amount, subverting income tax refunds, suspending driver's licenses, stopping government benefits, and more.
  4. If your spouse has suffered a permanent change in income, request a hearing and let the judge decide what to do about the child support issue. Only a judge can change the support amount. 

To find out more, consult with your family law lawyer.