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The ex-spouse stopped paying child support. Now what?

You and your former spouse may have divorced about two years ago. Everything has been going relatively well, considering it is divorce and can be challenging. Your former spouse has been paying child support regularly and timely. Until one day, the child support payments just stop. What is going on? Why did you not receive the support you need to help raise your children? Did your former spouse possibly lose their job?

What do you do now?

There are laws in place to protect you. Thanks to the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984. It permits district attorneys to help you collect the court-ordered child support from your former spouse if they refuse to pay or stop paying. The district attorneys set up a time to meet with your former spouse to set up an arrangement to pay the support. The district attorneys give official documents or papers with instructions, as well as, what could be the penalties for not paying child support.  Your former spouse could even face jail time, but that is the absolute last thing anyone would want to happen, because if they are in jail then they will be unable to pay.

Here are some of the penalties your former spouse could face for not paying child support:

  • Taking money directly from their paycheck
  • Paying child support by withholding federal tax refunds
  • Taking away your former spouses driver's license
  • Suspending a business license
  • Suspending an occupational license
  • Denying a passport, the U.S. Department of State can do this if your former spouse owes more than $2,500 in child support.
  • Jail Time- if nothing else works, this is the last resort and the court will hold your former spouse in contempt of court and have them arrested

While your former spouse may have stopped paying child support, it still does not make them a bad parent. Just think about your children and their impact on them. Always remember to keep your children's needs first. With that in mind, you should consider keeping your former spouse involved, do not deny them time with your children.

No parent wants to think about what would happen if a former spouse stopped doing what they are supposed to do when it comes to caring for their children. If it happens to you, it is good to be aware of your options as a parent.

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