Once a court issues an order imposing child support obligations on someone, that order carries the full weight of the Connecticut state justice system behind it. If your co-parent fails to comply with the requirements of such an order, you have several options for forcing the party to provide the support they owe.
If your child’s other parent is not paying their child support responsibilities, discussing your situation with a Stamford child support enforcement lawyer before acting by yourself may be wise. While it is important to understand how to utilize your right to pursue legal action against a parent, when appropriate, a skilled child support attorney can attempt to resolve the issue without necessarily resorting to court intervention.
The most straightforward way to enforce a child support order is by filing a motion for contempt. State courts do not keep active tabs on who is not fulfilling their support orders unless support enforcement is actively monitoring the case because one or both parents are receiving cash assistance from the State. A motion for contempt is the formal way for a parent who should be receiving support to notify the court that their child’s other parent is violating a court order. A Stamford attorney’s guidance is vital to pursuing this form of child support enforcement effectively and efficiently.
For a motion to proceed, the filing party must establish through “clear and convincing evidence” that an enforceable child support order existed, that someone violated its terms, and that the violating party did so willfully. Finally, the filing party must precisely explain what relief they want the court to provide, such as financial restitution and new conditions aimed at reducing the risk of further non-compliance.
Motions for contempt are certainly effective, but they are not always appropriate as a first option for addressing a support order violation. In some situations, resolving late child support payments can be as simple as contacting the non-paying party directly or through a mediator in order to understand the basis for the nonpayment, and thereafter come to an agreed upon arrangement for how the arrearage can be repaid.
The Connecticut Child Support Enforcement Program is an office within the state Judicial Branch that assists parents with enforcing and modifying support orders. There are many ways for a court to ensure a child gets the support payments they deserve without imposing criminal consequences or other penalties, such as wage garnishment or withdrawals from tax refunds. A child support enforcement lawyer in Stamford could discuss possible options in more specific detail during an initial consultation.
Child support obligations are important matters, and courts in Connecticut take violations of support orders seriously. Unfortunately, seeking enforcement of your own order can be challenging if you are not sure what your options are or how to proactively pursue them in a way that serves you or your child’s needs.
Guidance from a Stamford child support enforcement lawyer may be what you need to achieve the best possible resolution to this often-uncomfortable situation. Call us today for a confidential meeting.