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My Ex Isn’t Paying Support, What to Do?
First and foremost, GET A COURT ORDER.
Before there is a Court order, no one is obligated to pay support. Thus, the first thing you need to do is to obtain a court order. How? You need to file a case, and then file a Request for Order for Child Support (and Spousal support).
Wage Assignment Order
Once you have a court order, an easy way to ensure compliance is to not depend on the payor. Go straight to his employer. You will need to file a wage assignment order and the serve it on the payor’s employer. Once received, the employer will garnish their wages via paycheck every month and send it to you pursuant to the details of the Court order.
File and Record Abstract of Judgment
Record a certified copy of the child support order in the county where the payor has real estate, if they have real estate. In California, this has the effect of a property lien against.
File a Motion for Contempt
You can request the Judge hold the payor in “contempt” for failure to pay support. “Contempt” is quasi-criminal and carries both civil and criminal penalties, including possible jail time.
In my opinion, this method is not really as effective if the end goal is getting the payment.
Contact Your Local Child Support Agency (LCSA)
If all else fails, contact Child Support Services to find your local child support agency. If you have a court order, they will help you enforce it, free of charge. They have many different methods of enforcement, including: credit reporting, passport denial, suspending driver’s license, income tax refund intercepts, lottery intercepts, unemployment insurance intercepts, and property liens.
My Ex Isn’t Complying with Custody Orders
For this issue, please read My Ex Isn’t Following Custody Orders.