Whether you are married or not, when you have a child with someone, you expect that you will raise that child together.
Unfortunately, that’s not always how things shake out. But even if you don’t stay together, you expect that your partner will contribute financially in raising your child or children.
We may enter into child support agreements with the best intentions, but only 68.5 percent of all child support payments owed in the US are collected. That leaves the custodial parent with a steep financial burden. So what do you do when your ex fails to make their child support payments?
Read on to learn how to collect back Maryland child support.
1. Maryland Child Support Administration
The Maryland Child Support Administration works with parents who have child support orders and helps ensure that those parents actually receive the money they’re owed. CSA is also able to collect child support by deducting the money from your former partner’s paycheck, unemployment, and even their workers’ compensation claims.
There are some downsides to seeking repayment through CSA. First, the agency does charge a nominal fee in order to open your case.
More importantly, the CSA process is slow. If you need the money as soon as possible, it would be more advantageous for you to work with an attorney who can get things moving faster.
This is a good option for people who worked with CSA to obtain the initial child support order, but they will expect you to exhaust your court motions before they’ll step in. If you worked with an attorney to get your child support order, CSA will require you to have your attorney establish the child support obligation before they’ll step in and assist.
2. Get an Attorney and Go to Court
What can an attorney do? An attorney can assist you in doing pretty much everything the Maryland Child Support Administration can do but at a quicker pace.
The first thing your attorney can do is file a motion to compel. This motion requests that all subsequent child support payments be paid, but with an additional percentage added on to help make up for past-due child support payments, up to 25 percent more.
Your attorney can also file an earnings withholding order. This can be filed when the other parent falls more than 30 days behind in child support payments. This is filed along with the motion to compel, and it requires your former partner’s employers to deduct a percentage of their pay from their paycheck and send the money to you.
If your former partner doesn’t have a job, then things get a little more tricky.
Your attorney can file a motion for judgment. This motion asks the court to find in your favor and enter a judgment against your former partner in the amount of the child support they owe. Once you have a judgment, you can pursue other collection actions, such as seizure of property and assets to satisfy it.
Lastly, your attorney may file a motion for contempt. This is the most serious option because it places your former partner in contempt of court for failing to pay child support. This is used in instances when your former partner intentionally ducked out of paying child support by quitting their job or getting rid of any assets.
It’s important to know that contempt of court can result in serious fines and even jail time. A motion for contempt is a last resort.
Need Help with Child Support?
Bringing a child into the world is one of the most incredible things you can do. You expect your partner to contribute both financially and emotionally. If your partner fails to live up to his or her promises, then it’s good to know that there are options that’ll help you recoup back Maryland child support.