A child support order is an official court mandate that requires an individual to make consistent payments that will be used to help raise a minor. Although the state of California does have laws and procedures that enforce child support orders, many individuals simply ignore or refuse to make child support payments. Of course, the lack thereof can drastically affect your financial situation if you rely on these payments. Still, there are a variety of ways you can personally enforce a child support order.
Court Contempt Proceedings
If you are struggling to collect child support payments from another individual, there is one common way to get his or her attention. This method involves pressing legal action on the grounds of a contempt of court. According to California’s Family Code 290, any individual that willingly and blatantly ignores and refuses to carry out the demands of a court order can be guilty of contempt of court. In regard to child support, each failure to make part or all of a child support payment counts as one contempt of court.
Each of these counts can lead to 5 days in prison, as well as a steep $1,000 fine. While the threat of jail time and expensive fines may serve as an effective warning, you will have to enlist the help of a family law attorney to pursue litigation, mainly because any contempt that involves jail time will require extensive proof that an individual has ignored these payments. An attorney with experience in litigation of these cases can provoke another individual to begin making child support payments or face immediate legal action.
Writ of Execution
Under California law, you can enforce a child support order similar to a money judgment. Particularly, you can receive a Writ of Execution and enforce this precept as a money judgment against an individual’s private assets, such as properties and bank accounts. A more creative method of using a Writ of Execution is to simply enforce this writ on an individual that owns a business. As a result, this writ can collect the necessary funds as it becomes available.
You will have to pay a fee to have this writ issued, but you will have to first visit your local court clerk to receive the paperwork to file this court order. Once this is done, you can notify an individual of this court order and begin collecting payments commensurate to the amount you are owed in child support.
Child Support Penalty
One of the most effective ways of enforcing a child support order is by enacting a civil penalty statute commonly found in California Family Code in areas 4721-4728. This section basically establishes that a recipient can collect delinquent child support payments with an added civil penalty fee up to 6% incurred monthly.
In total, 72% in interest can be added to the complete amount of owed child support in a year if the individual fails to make these payments! Once proper notice has been issued, this procedure can go into effect and duly punish an individual who ignores their child support obligations.
For more information, speak to our modification and enforcement attorneys today.