Each parent is responsible for contributing to the support of their children after a divorce, but what happens to the payments that were never collected from the paying parent? Can the custodial parent still collect back child support payments after their child has reached the age of majority? The answer may surprise you.
Once a child reaches adulthood, ongoing child support payments are no longer mandated, however back payments never received are still enforceable. The laws pertaining to these payments vary from state to state, so it is always advisable to seek the counsel of an attorney familiar with the laws in your state. In some areas, there are strict statutes of limitations that apply to collecting past due child support payments once a child reaches adulthood or becomes an emancipated minor. These payments are referred to as arrears, and the paying parent is responsible for paying these obligations even after the child reaches adulthood.
There are several ways that custodial parents can collect unpaid child support payments from the paying parent. State and federal laws can enforce these payments by suspending licenses and passports, garnishing the wages of the delinquent parent, putting liens against property owned, or by taking tax refunds owed to the paying parent and paying them to the custodial parent. In some cases, a delinquent paying parent can be sentenced to prison.
How to Collect Back Child Support Payments
Where the noncustodial parent has failed to comply with the court order requiring the payment of child support, as a result of which arrears have developed, there are various options that the custodial parent has. The most frequent is to file a petition for contempt, asking the court to hold the noncustodial parent in contempt of court for having violated the previous order. The court then has various potential avenues in which to enforce its finding. A big consideration is whether the noncustodial parent in fact has the means to pay what is owed. Even in cases of bankruptcy filed by the paying parent, the child support payments are still owed to the custodial parent.
In all cases where money is still owed for back child support payments, it is imperative to consult with an experienced child support lawyer. Deadlines for filing, variations in state laws, and options for collecting the money are best handled by an attorney familiar with the specifics of your case, and the laws of your state.
Towson Child Support Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Parents Collect Past Due Child Support Payments
If you or someone you know is owed back child support payments, the experienced team of Towson child support lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can help you collect what you are owed. Call us at 443-589-0150, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Hunt Valley, Towson, and Pikesville, Maryland offices serve clients throughout Baltimore County, Harford County, Carroll County, and Howard County.