When one parent fails to fulfill their child support obligations, it makes things more difficult for the custodial parent and can have detrimental effects on the child. If you are experiencing issues with child support payments, several enforcement options are available.
One option is to reach out to an Oklahoma government agency for help. The Child Support Services division of Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services (OKDHS) can help you:
Trying to locate a parent who has fled to avoid making payments can be difficult and time-consuming. Fortunately, OKDHS can assist and has lots of resources at its disposal. OKDHS can even refer cases to other parts of the country, streamlining the process.
The second option is to file a petition directly with the court requesting enforcement of the child support order. Although not required, some individuals may find it helpful to engage the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to help them with this process.
Typically, when an Oklahoma judge issues a child support order, it contains instructions for payments to be made through Oklahoma’s Centralized Support Registry. The registry helps lower the odds of missed payments because employers automatically deduct amounts owed for support directly from the non-possessory parent’s paycheck.
If a parent leaves their job to avoid making payments, it may be necessary to file a petition asking the judge to issue additional orders for collecting the past due amounts.
A judge has a multitude of options when it comes to collecting child support. For instance, a court can issue an order to seize bank accounts, federal or state tax returns, amounts received from workers’ compensation, or even a personal injury settlement. They may also issue a lien against property held by the non-paying parent.
Failure to make court-ordered child support payments can have serious consequences. The non-paying parent can be held in contempt, resulting in fines and even jail time. A judge can also deny or suspend a professional license such as those held by accountants or attorneys to pressure the parent to pay once support payments become over 90 days late.
In addition, Oklahoma has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFAS). When a judge has ordered a parent to pay child support, the parent cannot avoid payments by simply moving to another state. Child support orders and wage garnishments are enforceable even across state lines.
When you require experienced, personal, effective legal representation in order to enforce child support payments, call the Lindsey Law Firm, P.C. at 918-587-0097 or contact the firm online to schedule your free initial consultation at the Tulsa office.