How Can I Enforce My Right to Child Support in California?

Photo of a mother comforting her daughter

Failing to pay child support in California has serious financial and personal consequences. If the court has found that a parent is able to pay for support and has chosen to purposefully not pay it, he or she can be found to be in contempt of court. This is a serious state offense and can result in jail time. If a parent’s life circumstances have changed or there is a reason behind his or her inability to pay, the court encourages he or she modify their support order.

How to Enforce a Child Support Order in California

To enforce a child support order or to collect an owed amount of child support, the parent owed the money has to take a copy of the child support order to a local child support agency. The agency will then communicate with the court about what actions need to be taken towards the other parent. The agency can also give you multiple resources to help locate the non-custodial parent in order to collect the money owed. Penalties can include:

  • Frozen bank account(s)
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Suspension of professional licenses
  • Lower credit scores
  • Interception of tax refunds, workers compensation awards, or disability benefits
  • Passport denial if the non-custodial parent owes more than $2,500 in support

Child support enforcement in California also includes criminal sanctions and possible wage garnishment. If you are involved in this scenario and would like to know your options for child support enforcement in California, contact our San Diego divorce attorneys today for an initial consultation.