Collecting Child Support when Parents don’t want to Pay
Raising a child requires a lot of time and money. Statistics provided by the United States Department of Agriculture shows that in today’s economy, supporting a child from birth to age 18 will cost the typical middle-income family over $230,000. After that, expenses associated with college or trade school, weddings, and other support can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. So when one parent is not participating in the financial responsibilities associated with caring for a child, it’s a rather big deal. If there’s a deadbeat parent in your life, an experienced local attorney may be able to help.
Why Child Support is Ordered
Whether or not they are, or have ever been, married, parents have a duty to provide financial support for their children. Some individuals may deny that they are a child’s biological parent and as a result, deny financially responsibility. Fair enough: a paternity test can clear matters up rather quickly. If the test verifies parentage, the court will likely mandate some amount of child support and, frankly, it should. Child support payments are meant to address the child’s needs as it relates to housing, food, education, and so forth. Even for non-custodial parents who have relatively low levels of income, the responsibility to provide for their child’s life and health is incontrovertible and in Maryland a court will likely order support until the child reaches the age of 18. If a child is a high school student when he or she turns 18, the child support obligation extends to the child reaching the age of 19 or graduating from High School, whichever comes first. For children with special needs the court may order support through their adult years.
Steps to Encourage Payment
The Maryland Department of Human Service outlines the number of ways a person can be compelled to pay their court ordered child support:
- The person may be cited for contempt of court;
- Wages may be garnished;
- Credit bureaus can be notified and an individual’s credit score may be affected;
- New employers may be notified of payments in arrears;
- Tax returns can be intercepted;
- Lottery winnings from Maryland may be captured;
- The individual’s driver’s license may be revoked;
- Professional licenses (such as cosmetology, teaching, law, etc.) may be denied or revoked;
- Recreational licenses (such as fishing or hunting) may be denied or revoked;
- Bank accounts can be garnished;
- Passport applications may be denied;
- Assets may be seized.
What if the Parent is Missing?
If the parent has gone missing in action in order to avoid their financial responsibilities for a child, there are resources available to help locate that individual. Even if the person has moved out of Maryland, the strategies listed above can be used to collect delinquent monies.
Your Child Deserves Support
There is no reason to struggle without the court-ordered financial support to which your child is entitled. If you are not receiving your court ordered child support payments in a timely and regular fashion, do not give up hope. With the assistance of an aggressive, empathetic attorney from the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes, LLC in Maryland, child support and related issues can be addressed with the best possible outcomes in mind. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation.