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What can you do if your ex-partner is behind on child support?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2019 | Child Support, Firm News |

Oregon courts do not order child support to punish one parent or favor the other, but simply to ensure that children of divorce experience as little adverse effects of their parents’ separation as possible. The recipient parent has the right to use child support as he or she sees fit, so long as he or she uses the funds to benefit the child. Common expenses for which a parent may use child support include food, shelter, clothing, entertainment, and recreational activities. If the recipient parent does not receive the support payments, it does not just hurt the parent financially, but also, it hurts the child. For this reason, Oregon takes child support enforcement very seriously. If your former partner is behind on support, the Oregon Department of Justice details what you can do to recover past-due funds.

When a parent fails to make child support payments of his or her own volition, the courts may have no choice but to take legal action. The Child Support Program has several tools and methods it uses to collect overdue support. One way in which it enforces support orders is by withholding federal and state tax refunds and using them to pay overdue support. However, this method often requires a six-month hold, which means you will go another half-year without the funds you need for your child. 

Another method the support program uses is the lien method. The support office may place a lien against the payor’s property to prevent him or her from selling the property until support payments are current. Again, this method may take a significant amount of time to yield results.

The support office may also opt to garnish the other parent’s wages, lottery winnings, inheritances or insurance settlements. It may also garnish funds from the obligor’s bank account and other sources so long as the enforcement office is not already withholding funds from these sources.

In addition to the aforementioned methods, the child support office may submit a request to have your former partner’s drivers’ license suspended. The state may go a step further and put a hold on his or her occupational and recreational licenses as well. If your child’s other parent has a passport, the government may suspend that as well. Depending on how behind the other parent is, the child support office may report his or her name to the credit reporting agencies. 

If all other enforcement methods fail, and if the other parent is seriously delinquent, the courts may hold your former partner in contempt of court. The judge may impose a jail sentence.

The information shared here is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as legal advice.