Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal SpecializationServing your Community for 19 Years
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What to do if an ex-spouse will not pay child support

After going through the process of divorce in California, it can be very frustrating for parents to find that collecting child support is not always easy. While there are sometimes legitimate reasons why an ex-spouse cannot offer sufficient financial support, there are also cases where resentment or anger are the source of the reluctance to pay. In fact, U.S. News reports that in recent years, the national number for back payments owed hit $108 billion across the country. There are a few things these parents can do as they are struggling to receive the child support payments they were promised.


First, parents should know when is the right time to seek legal help. Courts will generally begin to intervene if a spouse is delinquent for six months or more. At this point, a sheriff can inflict harsher punishments or institute wage garnishments to ensure that the support is paid.


Experts advise parents to logically evaluate the financial state of the ex-spouse. If it truly is difficult for him or her to pay, terms may need to be renegotiated so that at least some payment can be made. Landing the debtor in jail may provide emotional satisfaction, but will not improve the financial situation.


While many parents will begin to withhold visitation privileges if a parent is not paying child support, says this is not the best route. Continued interaction with the child can keep the topic fresh on the supporting parent’s mind, and remind him or her of who is really being hurt in the situation. It also provides opportunities for both parents to talk and attempt to solve the problem. When all efforts are made and child support is still not paid, many people choose to talk to a lawyer. 

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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

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