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How to collect on unpaid child support

Collecting child support can be an emotionally draining, and tedious process. If you have a court order and are still not getting the support you are owed, you are certainly not alone. It is estimated that less than half of parents with a current support order are actually collecting the full amount each month. But this does not mean that you should give up on your support obligation. In fact, the State of Maryland can pursue a variety of actions to enforce support orders.  This post will highlight a few.

Garnish wages. The state can take money directly from the obligor’s (the person ordered to pay support) paycheck. Wage garnishment is the most common action taken by the child support division.

Intercept refunds and payments. The state can withhold tax refunds, intercept unemployment insurance benefits and workers’ compensation payments.

Notify credit bureaus. Delinquent child support can be viewed as unpaid debt and the child support division can notify credit bureau of support arrears; thus negatively affecting the obligor’s credit score.

Criminal prosecution. If child support arrears become particularly egregious, the obligor can be criminally charged and face jail time and fines.

Suspend a passport or certain licenses. The obligor’s passport can be suspended by the U.S. State Department. Also, the child support division can recommend that the obligor’s driver’s license, professional license, and/or recreational licenses be suspended.

The process of collecting unpaid support can be arduous, but many are successful in recovering the money they are owed. If you have questions about collecting unpaid support, an experienced family law attorney can advise you.


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