Navigating child support issues with your ex is rarely easy. And even when separated parents prioritize their children and minimize unnecessary conflict, child support cases can still get contentious. Common sticking points include insufficient payments, confusion around what to do when the non-custodial parent’s situation changes, or what happens if the other parent refuses to pay.
In this blog, we’ll outline a few of the trickiest child support issues and offer tips for how to resolve them.
What if My Ex Is Refusing to Pay Child Support or Keeps Falling Behind?
Financial problems often create conflict between parents, and when you put those issues in the context of a divorce with children involved, things can get downright messy. Knowing how to handle issues when they arise is one way to protect yourself, your ex, and your children.
Here are some of the most common challenges we’ve handled in North Carolina child support cases.
The Non-Custodial Parent Refuses to Pay Until They Can See the Kids
Custody (parenting time) and child support payments are different aspects of parenting after a divorce; parents can’t use one aspect as a bargaining chip for another. The non-custodial parent shouldn’t withhold financial support to strong-arm the other parent into letting them spend time with the kids. Likewise, the custodial parent should never withhold the children until the other parent pays child support.
If your ex is threatening to withhold payments because they’re unhappy with the custody or parenting time arrangement, contact your attorney. They can help you understand your options in this uncomfortable situation and step in when you can’t resolve the matter with your ex. The most common solution involves filing a motion for contempt, but other options are available, such as obtaining a judgment or license revocation.
The Non-Custodial Parent Isn’t Paying the Full Child Support Amount
You may need to change your child support agreement for any number of reasons. If the paying parent’s situation has changed and they can’t pay as much as they normally would for child support, they can attempt to modify their child support agreement.
However, this process is complex and requires more than just a verbal agreement. Whether there needs to be an increase or decrease in payments for whatever reason, you and your ex must go through the courts to legally modify the agreement. Otherwise, you could get in trouble later if one parent claims you violated the written order, and saying you had a verbal agreement with the other parent probably won’t help you.
An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate the process of submitting a modification for your child support order and getting a judge to approve the modification.
The Non-Custodial Parent Falls Behind on Payments or Won’t Pay at All
Many separated parents choose to have child support payments taken directly from their paychecks, like taxes. Automatic withdrawal, known as wage-withholding, is a great option for diligent parents who want to avoid partial or late child support payments.
If the other parent doesn’t have automatic withdrawal set up and they fall behind or say they won’t pay, you can file a motion with the court to require wage-withholding. However, you may be able to resolve the conflict without going to court, especially if you work with an experienced, empathetic divorce attorney. Your attorney should be able to communicate with your ex and make them understand what will happen if they continue to violate the court’s child support order.
A Family Law Attorney Can Help Resolve Child Support Issues
When your ex fights your reasonable request for child support or violates a court order, it can leave you frustrated, angry, and overwhelmed. And when the solution is complex, like filing for a child support order or modification with the courts, it can be very difficult to resolve the issue on your own.
If you find yourself in one of these tough situations, you need an experienced family law attorney on your side who can guide you through the process and help make sure your children have the financial support they need to survive. When you work with an experienced and empathetic attorney, they can also provide emotional support, organizational assistance, and in-depth knowledge of North Carolina law and court procedures.
Myers Law Firm: Helping Parents in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Collect Child Support
At Myers Law Firm, our family law attorneys are here to support you and fight for your rights during the challenges of a divorce and the accompanying legal matters like child custody and child support. If the other parent owes child support and refuses to pay, we can help you hold them accountable without violating any existing court orders.
For more information on how our family law attorneys can help you, schedule your initial consultation by filling out our convenient online contact form or calling our Charlotte office toll-free at 1-888-376-ATTY (2889).
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.