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Tag: garnish

What Happens When Someone Refuses to Pay Child Support?

I cannot answer this question for all jurisdictions, but I can tell you how the law applies in the jurisdiction where I practice divorce and family law (Utah).

Many things can happen. What follows is not an exhaustive list of consequences of not paying child support, but it’s a pretty good one just the same. Not paying child support as court-ordered can result in:

  • damage to your negative credit score/reports
  • judgments can be issued for the unpaid amount of child support, which judgment can be collected by various means, including
    • garnishing wages to collect arrearages (“arrearage” means an amount of money owed that is past due for payment);
    • garnishing funds in your bank or other financial accounts;
    • additionally, the judgment can include interest on the unpaid judgment amount and the costs of collection, if any.
  • the delinquent child support obligor (an “obligor” is a person obligated to make payments) being held in contempt of court and then penalized (also known as “sanctioned”) for noncompliance with the court order. Those sanctions can include:
    • a fine not exceeding $1,000;
    • incarceration in the county jail for up to 30 days; or
    • both a fine not exceeding $1,000 and incarceration in the county jail for up to 30 days
    • an award of attorney’s fees in favor of the prevailing party against the party who is found in contempt,
    • having one’s licenses revoked until the child support arrearages are fully paid. Which licenses, you may ask?:
      • driver’s license
      • professional license(s)
      • hunting, fishing, and other recreational licenses
  • the delinquent obligor being criminally prosecuted for what is known as “criminal nonsupport”
  • the Office of Recovery Services can:
    • intercept the delinquent obligor’s state and/or federal income tax refunds;
    • cause use of the delinquent obligor’s passport to be suspended or cause it to be revoked until the arrearages are paid.
  • liens can be issued against your vehicle or other kinds of property.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/What-happens-when-someone-refuses-to-pay-child-support/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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I paid my ex in cash for child support. Will the court give me credit for it?

I paid my ex in cash for child support. Will the court give me credit for it?

In Utah (where I practice family law), the answer is: yes. And while I cannot speak for all jurisdictions, I would presume that most other jurisdictions have similar laws or rules in place.

For those of you wondering why this is an important question, this is why: if you don’t have independently verifiable, documented proof that you have paid child support, and the child support payee/recipient claims that you have not paid, the burden is on you and you alone to prove you paid. And if the only evidence of payment that you have is your word against your ex’s, you will lose the argument every single time.

So, before I finish my answer to your question, a word to the wise: never, ever pay child support in cash, if you can avoid it. If you must, for some reason, pay in cash, get a receipt from your ex acknowledging payment (amount paid, date paid). pay child support by check, money order, direct deposit, or through the child support collection agency (in Utah, this state agency’s name is the Utah Department of Human Services Office of Recover Services (known as Office of Recovery Services or just “ORS” for short).

Indeed, in my professional opinion, the best way to pay child support and to have proof you have paid child support, is to have your states child support collection agency garnish your wages (also known as “income withholding”) or to pay child support directly to the child support collection agency. Whether you are garnished or pay child support to the collection agency, the result is the same: the agency will make a record of your payment and forward payment to the child support payee. This way, you cannot ever be accused of not paying child support because the collection agency is responsible for collecting that payment and/or keeps a record of you making payment to the agency, and so it would be virtually impossible for the child support payee to accuse you, successfully, of nonpayment. Just remember that if you don’t let the collection agency garnish or paychecks, and if you pay child support directly to the collection agency, you will still want to keep independent documentation of those payments, in the event the collection agency fails to give you credit.

So, if you have been paying child support in cash to your ex, and your ex is willing to sign a statement (usually in the form of a sworn affidavit, but if your jurisdiction requires that you use a particular form and/or follow a particular procedure, make sure you do exactly as required) and submit that statement to the court acknowledging that you have paid in cash and stating how much you have paid, you are an extraordinarily fortunate person. And while it’s only right for someone who has received child support to acknowledge it and to give credit where credit is due, there are far too many child support payees who get paid in cash, then deny ever having been paid, and end up double dipping on child support by getting a judgment against you for child support falsely claimed to have been “unpaid”.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/I-paid-my-ex-in-cash-for-child-support-If-she-wrote-a-letter-to-the-court-acknowledging-this-would-the-court-give-me-credit-for-it/answer/Eric-Johnson-311?prompt_topic_bio=1

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Garnishing Wages and Other Funds to Collect Child Support

If child support arrears are documented and filed with the state or a judgment has been placed on arrears, can an insurance claim to the person who is behind have a lien put on it to deduct the arrears amount owed in child support?If child support arrears are documented and filed with the state or a judgment has been placed on arrears, can an insurance claim to the person who is behind have a lien put on it to deduct the arrears amount owed in child support?

In Utah (where I practice), yes.

62A-11-312.5. Liens by operation of law and writs of garnishment:

(1) Each payment or installment of child support is, on and after the date it is due, a judgment with the same attributes and effect of any judgment of a district court in accordance with Section 78B-12-112 and for purposes of Section 78B-5-202.

78B-12-112. Payment under child support order — Judgment:

(3) Each payment or installment of child or spousal support under any support order, as defined by Section 78B-12-102, is, on and after the date it is due:
(a) a judgment with the same attributes and effect of any judgment of a district court, except as provided in Subsection (4);
(b) entitled, as a judgment, to full faith and credit in this and in any other jurisdiction[.]
And under the procedures and due process protections provided by Rule 64D, Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, you can apply for a writ of garnishment against the obligor’s personal property in the possession of a third party.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/If-child-support-arrears-are-documented-and-filed-with-the-state-or-a-judgement-has-been-placed-on-arrears-can-an-insurance-claim-to-the-person-who-is-behind-have-a-lien-put-on-it-to-deduct-the-arrears-amount-owed-in-child-support

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