“He’s not paying child support”, or “she won’t let me see the kids” is something I hear a lot. What can be done? Sometimes, a calm conversation can straighten things out. Sometimes you need to start an Enforcement. What can I enforce? The two things that are most often enforced are visitation and child support.
This is usually pretty clear cut. The other parent is paying the court ordered support or they are not. The only real defense is that the person required to pay child support did not have the financial ability to pay it. If someone lost their job and is now making half as much, the Judge probably will not throw the parent in jail for not making a full child support payment. It is the burden of the Obligor (person required to pay) to prove they did not have the financial ability to pay the support. Judge’s can be hard on the non- paying parent if the Judge is not satisfied of the steps the parent has taken to get a new job or better employment. A Judge can order the back support to be paid with interest, award your attorney fees, fine and even put the non-paying parent in jail. The court can also suspend a driver’s license or other professional license.
If one parent refuses to follow the court’s possession order for visitation, that parent can be punished in an Enforcement action. This can be anything from a parent repeatedly being late, to not allowing a child to go with the other parent. Telling a child they don’t have to go can also be a violation of the possession order. What can a judge do about it? The court can award attorney fees, issue a fine and possibly jail a parent for not following the visitation order. The court can also order additional visitation periods to make up for the lost time.
Talk to an experienced attorney like Chip Parker to discuss an Enforcement case.