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What Can I Do If My Ex Isn't Paying Their Child Support?

Law Office of Ivy L. Graham March 22, 2023

Child Support Block With Bible And MalletIn Louisiana, child support arrangements are often established by parents who are no longer living together to cater to their child's living expenses and other financial needs. Surprisingly, some deadbeat parents find fulfilling their child support responsibilities difficult. When the non-custodial parent is delinquent with child support payments, the other party may be entitled to seek enforcement through a court order or by filing a contempt motion against the non-compliant party. 

At the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham, we enjoy giving reliable legal direction and advocacy to clients in child support enforcement matters. Our seasoned Louisiana family law attorney can work to understand your circumstances, explore your possible options to enforce the child support decree, and help recover any past-due child support payments. We proudly serve clients across Denham Springs, Colyell, Holden, Albany, and Livingston, Louisiana. 

Contempt Motion for Failing to Pay Child Support  

Once a child support agreement has been established between both parents, the non-custodial parent is obligated to pay their portion of the total child support amount. In the event that the child's other parent fails to pay court-ordered child support, the custodial parent may be entitled to file a contempt motion. 

A motion for contempt can be described as a motion or legal action filed in family court when one party is delinquent or violates the court decree. Through a contempt motion, the petitioner can ask the court to force the non-compliant parent to obey the terms and instructions of the court order. In addition, the court will schedule a hearing where both parties would be allowed to present their case. 

The Process for Contempt 

Here are the steps involved in a motion for contempt in Louisiana: 

  • Hire an attorney to guide you through the process. 

  • Obtain and complete the Motion for Contempt and Appearance forms. 

  • File your completed forms at the court clerk's office. 

  • Serve the Motion for Contempt form to the other party. 

  • Attend the court hearing. 

At the hearing, the judge will ask the delinquent parent to state their reasons for disobeying the court order and whether the court should hold them in contempt. If you can prove that the other party deliberately disobeyed the court order, the judge will allow them to comply with the terms that were violated. 

However, if the delinquent party continues violating the court order, the judge will hold them in contempt. A reliable divorce lawyer can help protect you and your child's best interests, argue your case intelligently in court, and help you achieve the most favorable outcome for your unique situation. 

Court Intervention for Non-Payment of Child Support 

Here are some penalties and sanctions that the court may impose on the defaulting parent for non-payment of child support: 

  • Paying all past-due child support payments. 

  • Fines and court fees. 

  • Paying the attorney fees of the other parent. 

  • License suspensions 

  • Incarceration in county jail 

  • Passport denials 

  • Place a lien on the delinquent parent's asset – car or real estate property. 

  • Intercept tax refunds 

  • Withhold income or garnish wages. 

A practiced Louisiana child support attorney can outline a strategic plan to hold the delinquent parent in contempt and help you pursue all past-due payments. 

Paying Past-Due Child Support  

Apart from complying with the court decree and making the regular monthly child support payments, the Louisiana court may also order the non-compliant party to pay the overdue child support amounts. Your legal counsel will help file a motion requesting the court to enforce the existing child support arrangement and make sure your child's other parent obeys the order. 

Experienced Guidance Every Step of the Way 

Under Louisiana law, parents who are not living together are legally required to financially support their child until he or she turns 18 or becomes emancipated. However, some parents willfully disobey the court order and fail to pay child support. At the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham, we have the diligence and expertise to advise and guide clients in complex family law matters involving child support enforcement. 

As your legal team, we will analyze every aspect of your specific situation and help you understand your rights and available legal options to enforce the existing child support agreement. In addition, our trusted team will help file a motion for contempt in court, hold the delinquent parent accountable, and help you pursue all the past due child support amounts. 

If your child's other parent isn't paying child support and you want to enforce it, contact us at the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham today to arrange a case evaluation. Our dependable attorney can provide you with loyal guidance and the skilled advocacy you need. We're proud to serve clients across Denham Springs, Colyell, Holden, Albany, and Livingston, Louisiana.