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 November 29, 2013 |

Noncustodial parents in Louisiana ordered to make support payments to take care of their children may, in some instances, have difficulty making the payments for a wide variety of reasons. In other instances, a parent may simply refuse to comply and pay. In some instances, past due child support may compound into thousands of dollars.

A federal agency estimated in 2009 that approximately $10 billion in overdue child support was owed nationwide to custodial parents. Some say that keeping a noncustodial parent involved in his or her children’s lives can encourage them to pay.

If a noncustodial parent is working or has discernible assets, it is possible to go to court to get an order garnishing wages or bank accounts. In some instances, a parent who willfully ignores court orders mandating the payment of child support can be held in contempt of court and sanctioned – or even jailed.

A parent who is suddenly unable to pay some or all of their current child support may want to go to court with their lawyer to seek a modification order. Reasons for this may include loss of a job, serious injury or illness, or other circumstances that may be beyond their control. The worst thing that a person in such circumstances can do is to do nothing while failing to explain the matter to their ex-spouse or the court. Without an explanation, the ex-spouse may understandably assume that the failure to pay is willful and without reason.

If a parent is temporarily unable to pay the entire amount of child support that is due, it is clearly better to make at least a partial payment, both to demonstrate a good faith effort and to provide support that the children badly need.

Source: U.S. News, “What to Do When Your Ex Won’t (or Can’t) Pay Child Support” Geoff Williams, Nov. 20, 2013

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