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What can be done to enforce delinquent child support?

When Alabama parents share a child but are no longer together as a couple, one parent will generally be ordered to pay child support to the other. There are times when the supporting parent is delinquent in what he or she owes. The state has certain methods that it will use to enforce these obligations.

Income withholding is when there is a court order or an administrative order for the employer of the noncustodial parent to take a certain amount of money out of the person's wages. This is the fastest way to get the payments and is believed to be one of the most effective.

Credit bureaus can be informed if the parent is not making the payments when what is owed has surpassed $1,000. It can negatively affect the person's credit and will stay on the credit report for seven years even when the payments are up to date.

The Internal Revenue Service and the State Department of Revenue can be informed if the parent owes child support. If the child gets Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF, the reporting will occur if the parent owes at least $150. If there is no TANF, it will be reported if the parent owed $500. Any tax refund will have the support deducted.

When a parent owes more than $2,500 in child support, there can be a denial of a passport application or renewal. Financial Institution Data Match or FIDM will identify accounts that are in financial institutions that belong to the parent and be subject to liens and levies. A lien can be placed on property so the debt can be paid before that property can be sold or refinanced. It can be real estate, vehicles and other items or payments.

Driver's licenses, professional licenses or sporting licenses can be suspended, revoked or withheld. A person who crosses state lines to avoid paying child support can be prosecuted at a federal level. Finally, the IRS can collect back support that is $750 or more.

Those who are not receiving the child support they are supposed to have the right to get what is owed. A legal professional who is experienced in family law and delinquent child support can help to move forward with these collection actions. Taking these steps not only helps parents but also the children involved.

Source: dhr.alabama.gov, "Enforcement of Court Ordered Child Support Payments," accessed on Nov. 29, 2016

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