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A child support order is a legal obligation in Washington, which means failing to pay can result in penalties. In addition, the state offers multiple enforcement methods for a custodial parent to utilize for collecting missed or late payments.
When a child support order is put in place, the custodial parent can choose to have payments go through the Division of Child Support (DCS) at any point. By using DCS, the non-custodial parent ordered to pay child support must submit their payments to the DCS that then records and distributes the funds to the custodial parent. The DCS also provides free child support enforcement. If after a specified grace period has ended, the DCS will automatically take action in an attempt to collect the missed or late payments on your behalf. To do so, they can:
In many cases, hiring an experienced Spokane family law attorney is all that is needed to demonstrate how serious you are about enforcing the child support order.
Another option to enforce a child support order is to initiate a contempt action. However, you will have to prove contempt. That involves providing evidence of:
If you can successfully prove the non-custodial parent could pay some or all of the amount owed, they can be held in contempt. You do not have to provide evidence that non-payment was deliberate, but simply that it could have been paid and was not. The penalties associated with failing to comply with a judge’s order can result in both fines and/or jail time. The fines are often based on the extent of the violations. The non-custodial parent may also be responsible for reimbursing court costs and your attorney’s fees.
If you or a loved one is having trouble collecting child support payments, schedule a free consultation with our Spokane child support attorney. The attorneys at Twyford Law Office will help you recover the money you are owed.