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Enforcing child support orders in California

More than one divorced parent in Sacramento has faced the unhappy prospect of collecting child support from an ex-spouse who refuses to pay or, even worse, has moved to another state. Fortunately, California state law provides a number of effective remedies that can be used if a parent tries to avoid the consequences of the divorce decree.

If the payor parent resides in California after the divorce, but refuses to pay child support, the custodial parent can seek assistance from the Department of Child Support Services. Staff at the department will provide assistance in completing and filing necessary paperwork to compel payment. If the payor parent remains delinquent in his or her payments, a court hearing may be required.

Collecting past due child support can become more complicated if the payor parent has moved from California. A custodial parent who is owed child support can take advantage of the Interstate Family Support Act, a statute that has been adopted in all of the 50 states. The statute sets out various reciprocal obligations and rights owed by the states to other states and their citizens concerning the collection of child support. The statute prevents any state from modifying or repealing a child support order that was properly entered in another state. Second, the act provides methods for obtaining a court order in the state where the payor parent now resides.

While California and other states have adopted laws and procedures intended to aid in the collection of child support, court hearings are often required to obtain full relief. Anyone who is attempting to collect child support from a former spouse who refuses to pay may wish to consult a capable divorce lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney can provide suggestions for expediting collection and can, if necessary, make any necessary court appearance.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Support Enforcement in California," accessed on Oct. 10, 2017

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