Parents have a legal duty to provide financial support to their children, independent of any relationship they may or may not have with them. The law enforces child support orders, and a parent who fails to pay child support is subject to harsh penalties. If your child is not getting appropriate financial care from their other parent, you can act to enforce your child support order. Your legal options include negotiation, securing a court order, and pursuing harsher penalties such as license suspensions or forced sale of real estate.
A Guilford child support enforcement lawyer will take the time to understand your situation and counsel you on the best options in your case. With the help of our experienced child support attorneys, you could recover the financial support your child deserves and is legally entitled to receive.
Every child has a right to financial support. Some parents misunderstand the concept and believe they must spend all child support payments directly on the child. Parents who receive child support must use it for their child’s benefit, but they are not misusing child support if they also benefit from the funds.
Parents can use child support money to pay for housing, food, utilities, clothing, healthcare, and other basic needs. Many parents agree on child support payments exceeding the statutory minimum to cover expenses like extracurricular activities, tutoring, private school tuition, school trips, vacations, and similar expenses.
Sometimes, a parent who pays child support stops paying if they feel they are not receiving adequate access to a child, their relationship with the child is strained, or the other parent is squandering the money. There are legal avenues to address child support enforcement issues should they arise, and concerned parents should discuss them with a lawyer in Guilford.
When a parent does not pay child support as ordered, the receiving parent has several options. Engaging an attorney in Guilford to approach a delinquent parent or their legal representative could resolve a child support enforcement issue more quickly than taking the matter to court. However, legal action may be necessary if a parent refuses to address the arrears or if they consistently fall behind on their payments.
Connecticut General Statutes §46b-87 allows a parent to bring a motion asking a judge to hold a non-paying parent in contempt. The parent bringing the action must prove with evidence that there is a valid child support order that the other parent violated.
When a judge finds a parent in contempt for failing to pay their child support, they can order a lump sum payment to adjust the outstanding balance. A judge may act to ensure payment in the future by:
Courts have the discretion to take more drastic action in some cases. For example, if a parent is 90 days or more in arrears and holds a professional license, a court can suspend the license until the arrears are current. A court can also suspend driver’s licenses, hunting licenses, and any other state-issued licenses if a parent is behind in making child support payments.
If a parent owes a significant sum, a judge can seize assets like brokerage accounts or real estate and order liquidation to satisfy the arrears. A judge can even impose jail time on a parent. A child support enforcement lawyer in Guilford understands these actions and can fight for a fair punishment after a parent has failed to care for their child.
Fighting your co-parent to get the financial support your children are entitled to can be stressful and heartbreaking. A Guilford child support enforcement lawyer recognizes the emotional and financial strain these disputes create and will try to resolve them as quickly as possible.