My Ex is Unemployed and Refusing to Pay Child Support: What Can I Do?

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A child support order establishes more than just cash. There are other ways that children need to be financially supported, like healthcare and education costs. The child support award is contingent on the earnings of both parents. When the paying parent is unemployed, it can be financially taxing on the other. You may think that there is nothing you can do to have them pay child support while unemployed, but there are options. 

Since each case is unique, you will need a child support lawyer who knows the ins and outs of your particular claim. Each month you depend on child support to care for the child that both of you made and are raising. A common mistake parents make is withholding visitation until they receive payment. You cannot do this, as this can lead to other legal repercussions. Instead, discuss your legal options to enforce child support payments with a child support attorney. 

Consequences of Not Paying Support

When a parent does not pay support, they can be subject to various consequences. Some of these options result in you getting help, while others only place a burden on the other party. In either case, they face consequences that will force them to pay. Some of these actions can be taken against your ex when they refuse to pay support:

  • Property seizure
  • Home or business lien
  • Professional license suspension 
  • Revoking their passport
  • Driver’s license suspension 
  • Taking their tax return and sending it to you until back child support is paid
  • Reporting missed payments to credit reporting companies
  • Jail time

Many of these will inconvenience a person so much they have no other choice than to pay what they owe. When a license or passport is suspended, your ex cannot use them until they catch up on child support payments

Unemployment Wage Garnishments

If your ex is unemployed, they should file for unemployment benefits. The state will be able to garnish funds from these checks so that you can still get the financial support you need to care for your child. Keep in mind that you will not get the same amount as when the other parent was working if this happens. You will get a lower amount but will still be able to get some payment instead of no payment. 

Voluntary Impoverishment

There are times when a parent will impoverish themselves to manipulate the legal system. Voluntary impoverishment means that an individual will purposely quit a job or take a lower-paying job to avoid paying child support. The court will need to look at the evidence related to the person’s job loss to determine whether it was voluntary or involuntary. They may face other consequences if they are found guilty of voluntary impoverishment. 

Consult With a Child Support Lawyer Today

Suppose your unemployed ex refuses to pay child support, whether due to unemployment or another reason; you need an advocate in your corner. The VanNoy Firm knows the steps to take to hold your ex accountable for their failure to pay. Schedule a consultation by submitting our contact form today.



About The Author

Anthony S. VanNoy

Trial Attorney

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