Letter: Coping With Non-Existent Child Support Checks

Dear Susan:
My ex has not paid child support in a year.  What do I do?
Melissa

Dear Melissa,
Not paying child support is a crime punishable by law!!!  Now the problem is how to enforce it.  I know that most of the states have a remedy for nonpayment of child support. Sadly, from what I hear from women all over the country is that the remedies don’t come to fruition soon enough – if at all. When children have to be fed, waiting for the courts to respond seems like it takes forever.
My first suggestion is to go to the courts and find out where your child support enforcement office is in your jurisdiction. Go to the child support enforcement office and file a complaint. Most complaints are taken very seriously and action taken quickly – usually within 30 days.  Again, each state is different so you need to check with yours.  Many add a small filing fee, maybe $25, which I know is a lot when you need to feed your children. Some states may waive the fee and take it from your first check.
If your ex-husband is not paying child support, his wages can be garnished which means the courts will take the money directly from their paycheck and send it to you.  Since your ex- husband has already shown the courts that he is not reliable in his payment of support, you are in the driver’s seat to ask for the garnishment.
I hope this helps. Please let me know.