Child support payments, if late or unpaid, are subject to various enforcement actions by the state of Indiana.
Child support payments are court-ordered, and if a parent fails to submit payments as ordered, enforcement actions could be taken, including:
- Withholding support payments from your wages, unemployment benefits, or other sources of income.
- Tax refunds issued by the federal or state tax authorities can be intercepted and paid to cover arrears in child support.
- A lien may be placed on your vehicle or vehicles.
- Your passport may be revoked or a new passport application denied.
- Your driver’s license, as well as hunting and fishing licenses, may be suspended.
- Reports to credit bureaus.
- Freezing accounts until payments are made.
Are You in Trouble with Child Support? You Have Options
Modification of Child Support Orders
In some cases, the amount you are required to pay can be modified by the court. For such modifications to be approved, it is necessary to prove that you have had a substantial change in your circumstances, such as loss of employment or employment paying much less than it did at the time of the court order. These modifications can be sought after the initial child support order is at least 12 months old, and the calculation of child support payments per the state’s guidelines is reduced by at least 20 percent.
Can the Court Enforce Child Support Payments?
While the court has the right to several types of enforcement, its powers are not unlimited. If a parent is delinquent in child support payments, the most common method is for the court to issue an “income withholding order,” which will require an employer to automatically deduct a specific amount from your paycheck, which will then be disbursed to the other parent. For self-employed individuals, or those with several sources of income, or unemployed people, this method is ineffective.
Contempt of Court Cases
The parent who has not received child support payments as ordered has the right to file a petition to hold the other parent in contempt of court. This strategy is not broadly effective, as it must be proven that the parent was deliberately withholding child support while having the financial resources to pay. Most people who fall behind on child support payments are not doing so willfully but are affected by economic issues, although it does happen.
If you are delinquent in child support payments, you must speak with an attorney before you become subject to an income withholding order, a lien on your vehicle, a frozen bank account, loss of your legal right to drive, or other financial or legal problems.
Legal Counsel for Child Support Matters in Indianapolis
Whether you need assistance with enforcement actions or cannot pay the child support ordered by the court, the legal team at Emerson Law LLC is recognized as a premier family law firm in the Indianapolis region. Our attorneys are listed as Top 100 Civil Attorneys in Indiana, and they have the breadth of knowledge and experience necessary to address any legal problem associated with child support payments rapidly and effectively.
Contact Emerson Law LLC in Indianapolis at (317) 969-8000 for legal counsel in child support payment matters.