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Examining Maryland's child support enforcement options -- III

Over the last few weeks, our family law blog has been discussing why parents must be on the ball when it comes to making child support payments. Specifically, we've been talking about how Maryland's Child Support Enforcement Administration has a variety of tools at its disposal to ensure compliance, many of which can have serious consequences if utilized.

In today's post, we'll conclude this discussion of the CSEA's various enforcement options.

Reporting to credit bureaus

Anyone who has tried to buy a house or car, or open a new line of credit knows how important it is to have a good credit score. As such, most people do everything they can to ensure their credit score remains respectable.

Parents should know, however, that if they are 60 days or more past due on their child support payments, the CSEA can report this to the credit bureaus and their credit score will likely see a decline if this happens.

Lottery intercept

You may think it's your lucky day if you hit the lotto jackpot. However, if you're a parent behind on child support, it's actually the CSEA's lucky day.

That's because it is authorized to intercept lotto winnings if a parent owes at least $150 in back child support.

Contempt

The consequences for failing to make timely and full child support payments aren't just confined to matters outside the courtroom. Indeed, a judge can hold delinquent parents in civil contempt if it is determined that they have the necessary means to meet their payment obligations. This can mean a large fine and even incarceration.

This concludes our examination of the CSEA's enforcement tools. As always, be certain to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your rights and options as they relate to enforcement or modification of child support.

Source: Maryland Department of Human Resources, "Child Support Enforcement Administration: Enforcement tools," Accessed March 17, 2015

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