Being a parent comes with rights and responsibilities to their children, which include ensuring that their physical and emotional needs are met. Becoming the custodial parent greatly increases that responsibility in both time and financial support. Due to these additional responsibilities, regular child support payments become essential.
When an ex-spouse misses payments or stops paying completely, the lack of child support can make providing for your child in the way they need incredibly difficult. Fortunately, missed child support payments never disappear, and you have options for recovering what you are owed.
If your child’s other parent has missed support payments, then you should contact a child support lawyer who can help you recover what you are owed.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we represent women and mothers in family law matters exclusively. We are highly attuned to the needs of mothers and are committed to empowering them with knowledge of their rights so that they can be confident about their future.
We use a holistic model, which involves protecting relationships and using mediation where possible. At the same time, we are always prepared to represent our clients in court and will do whatever it takes to protect your rights and ensure that your child’s needs are met.
Arrange a free consultation with a child support lawyer for mothers at 380-212-3731.
Child support payments are designed to help the custodial parent meet their child’s financial needs. They may be used to pay for anything that contributes to the child’s upbringing, including food, shelter, education, medical bills, and toys.
The non-custodial parent who pays child support payments in Indiana is known as the obligor, and the person who receives child support is known as the obligee.
One of the key ways that a child support order can be enforced is by asking the court to issue an income withholding order. This order is presented to the employer of the obligor and requires the employer to withhold an amount specified by the court, which will eventually cover all missed payments as well as accumulated interest and fees for missed payments. The money will then be sent to the Indiana State Central Collection Unit (ISCCU) and directed to the obligee.
Once a withholding order is in place, any income from bonuses, sick pay, severance pay, vacation time, or any other income must be sent to the ISCCU by the employer until overdue child support has been paid.
If requested by the obligee, the court can add up to 1.5% interest to the arrears. The obligee can also petition the court to seize the obligor’s state tax refund if they are in arrears by $1,500 or more, and evidence can be provided that the child support order was violated intentionally.
Indiana also has non-monetary penalties in place that a court can use to enforce payment. If it is determined that a child support order was violated intentionally, then the obligor could be held in contempt of court. If the paying parent is determined to be in contempt of court, then they must appear in court to explain why child support was not paid.
If the obligor is not in the financial position to back child support, then the court may order them to find a job or complete community service. If they fail to show up to court, then they could be arrested and forced to stand in front of a Judge.
Contempt proceedings are very serious and can result in jail time, although the court will give an obligor several chances before issuing a jail sentence.
The Judge may also order the suspension of professional licenses to enforce compliance, such as a driver’s license or professional license for an occupation, which will remain in place until the court can see sufficient evidence to pay what they owe.
Child support obligations are legally binding. However, it is possible to apply for a modification with the court.
If you believe that the noncustodial parent is not paying enough, then you will need to prove that either:
In the state of Indiana, the obligation to pay child support ends automatically when the child turns 19 unless the child is incapacitated. If the child has a medically disabling condition that prevents them from being self-sufficient, then child support will need to be paid until a court order ends the obligation.
Child support obligations may end before a child turns 19 if they are no longer under the care of a parent or court-authorized agency, if they marry, or if they begin active duty with the U.S. Military.
In accordance with Indiana law, the court can also choose whether or not to end child support orders if all the bellow statements are true:
If your ex has stopped meeting their child support obligation, then you should speak with a child support attorney who can help you recover what you are owed.
There are serious consequences for not paying child support, but it is good to find a law firm who are committed to protecting relationships where possible. That means using mediation to come to amicable agreements wherever possible before taking legal action.
Ultimately, your life and the lives of your children will benefit from you and your ex-spouse being on cooperative terms. If your ex-spouse has lost their job, become ill, or is otherwise having a difficult time, perhaps they deserve a chance to find what they owe you.
Of course, sometimes this is not possible, and if your ex-spouse refuses to cooperate, then it is important you have an attorney who is willing to litigate on your behalf and can help you file contempt proceedings. Understanding when to use mediation and when to fight fiercely for your rights is what makes a great lawyer.
It is also a good sign if a law firm has a narrow focus, such as family law. That means that they help people like you every day and will have the skills, experience, and resources necessary to guide you.
Matters that involve your children are highly emotional, especially if you’re struggling to provide for them without the financial support that you deserve from your ex-spouse. Therefore, it is important you feel supported by your attorney and that they are prompt to answer your questions.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we are committed to helping women navigate family law in Indiana and Ohio. We are proud of the level of support and guidance we are able to offer and our personalized approach to the attorney-client relationship. All of our attorneys are trained mediators and litigators and are able to handle even the most complex situations, such as those involving high conflict, complex assets, and cross-country parenting.
We offer a free consultation, which is a great opportunity for you to get answers to all your questions and to decide if you feel comfortable speaking with your attorney before committing to representation.
Regardless of where your ex-spouse lives, if a child support obligation is in place, then they must still meet it. If they are in arrears, then the Child Support Division can use federal law to collect what they owe.
If the paying parent loses their job, then they should apply for a modification. They are required to keep paying the amount specified in the existing order until the modification has been approved. On the other hand, if they secure a new job with a higher salary, then you may apply for a modification to seek a higher amount in child support.
No, child support and visitation are separate, and it is essential that you continue to facilitate visitation; if you do not, then you could also be found to be in contempt of court. Instead, you should contact a child support attorney to recover payments.
No, past due child support will not simply disappear; rather, it accumulates and even gains interest. Your ex-spouse will need to pay support eventually, and if it is not, then there will be legal consequences.
Child support matters are often highly emotional, especially when your ex-spouse refuses to give you what they owe. You and your child deserve to be financially supported, and fortunately, there are options available to you to recover what you are owed.
At Woodford Sathappan McGee, we are committed to the rights of women and their children. We will guide you from start to finish and will know when to take a gentle approach and when to fight fiercely to secure the financial support you need.