What to Do When Your Ex Won't Pay Child Support


Parents who are given physical custody of a child as part of a divorce may need financial assistance with the added responsibility this can carry, which is why in some cases a Nevada divorce court will order the non-custodial spouse to pay child support. Child support is intended to pay for basic care of the child or children from a marriage, including things like food, shelter, clothing, and educational costs.

However, while the non-custodial parent may be ordered to pay child support, there’s no way to guarantee that the parent responsible for paying the support does so on time every single month. What happens when they decide that they simply don’t want to pay it anymore, even though you know they’re not struggling financially to meet this obligation? After all, if you’re given the responsibility of caring for a child, you very likely might depend on this income to meet your financial needs.

The answer: child support enforcement actions. In the state of Nevada, you can go to the Department of Health and Human Services, which is where the Child Support Enforcement unit is located. With the help of a Henderson family law attorney, you may be able to petition the CSE for an enforcement action.

Types of Enforcement Actions

The Child Support Enforcement unit has a number of tools available to them to enforce child support orders when one parent doesn’t pay. For example, the first action usually placed is that they go directly to your ex’s employer and issue a wage garnishment or income withholding. This essentially means that CSE will withhold a chunk of your spouse’s wages until the overdue child support is recovered and paid to you. The CSE can also use this same method to go after unemployment benefits, veterans or social security benefits, military support, or even proceeds from a Thrift Savings Plan. CSE can also intercept other forms of income, such as federal tax returns.

Parents who have not paid their delinquent child support can also have their licenses suspended by CSE. For most people, CSE will have their driver’s license suspended. However, if they have any occupational, recreational, sporting, or professional licenses, CSE can also have them suspended as well.

CSE can file a legal action known as “order to show cause” which is basically a fancy way of saying “contempt.” Essentially what this means is CSE will bring the other parent to court and make them explain to a judge why they haven’t paid their child support on time. The consequences of this can range from damage to the paying parent’s credit score to even jail time in some cases.

Speaking of jail time, CSE also has the ability in extreme cases to refer a delinquent child support case to law enforcement for criminal prosecution.

Do You Need an Attorney?

Having an attorney on your side when pursuing a child support enforcement action is advisable for a number of reasons. An attorney can work with you to determine if the other parent has willfully neglected their duty to pay child support, or if the lack of payment is due to underlying causes. You’ll be required to show that your ex hasn’t paid their support before the deadline that has passed, and your attorney can help you gather the evidence in order to prove what is delinquent, how much, and what action has been taken in the meantime.

Get help with your child support enforcement case by contacting Ford & Friedman at (702) 904-9898!
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