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How Do I Enforce My Child Support Order?

Updated on March 4, 2014

Enforcing Child Support

If you have a child support order and you aren't seeing the money that you are owed, it is possible for you to enforce your order without having to actually go to court. Depending upon the situation, however, you may need to seek the assistance of a child support enforcement agency to help you get the child support you are owed.

Enforcing a Child Support Order Without Going to Court

If the non-custodial parent has a job, it is possible for you to get his or her paycheck garnished so you can start receiving your child support payments. In order to do this, however, you need to know several pieces of information and you need to have completed a few steps beforehand. This information you need and the steps that need to have been completed include:

  • You need to have an existing child support order in place
  • The non-custodial parent has to owe you child support money
  • You know exactly how much money the non-custodial parent owes you

If you have this information, you can complete a Notice to Withhold Income for Support and submit it to the person that is in charge of withholding child support at the place where the non-custodial parent works. When filling out this notice, keep in mind that you should request the amount of your current child support order as well as money to help pay any delinquencies. The amount you can charge for delinquencies will vary according to state. In Illinois, for example, you can charge up to 20% of the current child support order to be paid toward paying the delinquency.

Other Options to Enforce Your Child Support Order

If your case does not meet all of these criteria or if you do not know where the non-custodial parent is employed, there are other options you can follow for enforcing yoru child support order. Some of these include:

  • Hiring a private divorce attorney to enforce the order
  • Hiring a private detective to help you with the case
  • Checking into services provided by your state

Hiring a private detective or an attorney to help you with enforcing your child support order can be quite costly, though the cost can be worthwhile if you are owed a significant amount of money. Many states, however, provide some sort of free child enforcement services. If you know where the non-custodial parent is working, for example, you may be able to simply report this information to the child support division of the courthouse and your case manager will then complete all of the necessary paperwork. In other cases, you may have to fill out paperwork in order to request free services from your state.

If services are available in your state, it is generally better to utilize them rather than trying to enforce your order on your own. Nonetheless, it is helpful to know how to enforce your child support order so you can take every step possible to get the money you are owed.


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