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Methods for collecting unpaid child support in California

Unfortunately, just because someone has agreed to pay child support or has been ordered by the court to do so, it does not mean that the individual will live up to their obligations. However, the legal system has put in place a number of methods for helping custodial parents collect the support that they are owed.

The Office of Child Support Enforcement runs a number of programs that help custodial parents obtain the child support they are owed. For instance, the Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 allows both district and state attorneys to collect unpaid child support on behalf of the custodial parent.

Through this act, state and district attorneys may garnish someone's wages, prevent them from getting a passport, freeze their bank account, report them to credit bureaus and put a lien against their property. Time in jail may also result from someone failing to pay child support, but since it is much harder for someone to pay child support if they are in jail, this option is normally considered a last resort. If the noncustodial parent is unable to make payments, then he or she must file for modification of child support or they would be considered delinquent.

Many single parents rely on child support to allow them to make ends meet. Single parents tend to have only one income to provide for a household, and child support may be the difference between struggling and being able to pay bills on time. If someone is owed child support but not getting it, there are a number of legal options available to them to help them obtain the support they are entitled to, and a lawyer could explain what methods the court offers for helping to enforce ordered child support.

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