Has your former spouse neglected to make his or her alimony payments? Has your children’s mother or father ceased paying child support? Are you constantly chasing them for payments?
Unfortunately, it is all too common that one parent or former spouse suddenly decides to cease or reduce support payments, either because he or she is unable or unwilling to pay. Of course, this can present an immense problem for those who rely on these payments to financially support themselves and/or their children.
So… what should you do?
In cases like these, there is significant legal recourse at your disposal.
First, in order to collect on overdue support, the other party MUST have clearly violated a Court Order, which specifically provides for the amount of support you are seeking.
If a support order has already been established and the other party has failed to abide by it, he or she could suffer an array of legal consequences, such as:
- They may be ordered to pay your legal fees
- The state could take money directly from their paychecks, bank accounts or tax refunds
- A lien could be placed on their home or motor vehicle
- Their motor vehicle, business or recreational licenses could be suspended
- They could suffer negative consequences relative to their credit report
- A bench warrant could be issued for their arrest
If you are in a situation such as this, the next step would be to file a Complaint for Contempt with the Court. Our firm has handled countless contempt actions and can certainly help you throughout the process.
It’s important to note that when filing a Complaint for Contempt, it’s imperative that you KEEP TRACK of everything! We recommend that you create a chart, which details the amount of support owed, the date it was owed, the amount actually paid and the date it was received. You should also keep any and all supporting documentation, such as cancelled checks, bank statements and any and all correspondence between the parties regarding the outstanding support. When communicating with the non-paying party, please remember that everything you write could end up in the Judge’s hands.
If you are seeking child support, but do not have a Court Order, it’s OKAY.
BUT, you should obtain one IMMEDIATELY.
In order to obtain a child support order, you need to file a Complaint with the Probate and Family Court for your county. However, the type of Complaint would depend on your specific situation:
If the paternity of the child has not been established with the Court, this would be the first step.
How do you know if paternity has been established?
- Is the father’s name on the birth certificate?
- Did the father sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity?
- Has a Court Order been issued establishing paternity?
If you do need to establish paternity with the Court, we can certainly help you with that as our attorneys are very experienced in handling these matters.
If paternity has already been established, then you would need to file a Complaint for Child Support. Our office has a lot of experience handling cases such as these and can walk you through all of the necessary steps. would be happy to assist you.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The information provided by Foley and MacAdie, P.C. is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.