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You have options to collect past due child support

When child support orders aren’t complied with, the child is the one who suffers. Parents who are due child support and haven’t received it from the paying parent have options to try to collect the child support they are due. Generally, going through the child support office is possible. Alternatively, parents might opt to go to court regarding the unpaid child support.

If you are the recipient of the child support and are applying for public assistance of any sort, you are required to work with the county’s child support enforcement agency to try to collect child support. If you don’t do that, you can be denied the assistance you are applying for.

If the parent who is supposed to pay child support has a job, you can try to seek a wage assignment. Employers pay the child support directly from the earnings of the paying parent if a wage assignment is ordered. It is usually a good idea to ask for this during the initial child support order hearing, but you can also ask for this order at a later date if the paying parent isn’t keeping up with the child support payments.

In some cases, such as when a parent who is supposed to pay child support but willfully disobeys the order, you might be able to ask the court to hold the parent in contempt. This could lead to the person being incarcerated. If the parent is more than 60 days late, one’s driver’s license might be suspended.

Custodial parents who aren’t receiving the child support they are due should explore their options. Since each case is different, the options for getting the child support arrears might vary.

Source: The People's Law Library of Maryland, “Enforcement & Collection of Child Support,” accessed Nov. 25, 2015

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