It’s been a few months since we focused attention on the issue of child support. In a post back in November, we sought to provide some insight into some of the frequently asked questions about this important facet of family law.
Much of what that post focused on had to do with who may be eligible for child support and the state and local government offices in Anne Arundel County positioned to help make sure that support is fulfilled smoothly and effectively. But in some instances, payers may be reluctant to meet their obligations and enforcement measures are needed.
It may be that an attorney’s help is required. When that’s the case, you want to be sure you are confident that your advocate has solid experience with collection processes and the various tools that are available to ensure that children get the financial support they need for their well-being. And what might they be? Here’s a list as provided by Maryland’s Child Support Enforcement Administration.
- Interception of federal or state tax refunds: This applies if an obligated payer is behind. State refunds can be pursued if the arrears are $150 or more. Federal refunds may be collected if the amount is $500 or more.
- Passport blockage: An obligor who is $2,500 or more behind on child support could be blocked from leaving the country until the past-due amount is paid.
- Driver’s license suspension: This leverage can be brought to bear if child support is 60 days or more overdue.
- Professional license suspension: There are many careers that require state licensure; doctors, lawyers, nurses, and even commercial truck drivers. Authorities may suspend a license until all child support arrearages are paid.
- Wage garnishment: This is typically done through a wage withholding order through a payer’s employer.
There are other methods available, including the possibility of having a payer incarcerated under a contempt order from the court. But that might not be the ideal solution if the objective is to support recovery.