Dealing with child support debt

San Jose parents who have unpaid child support might still be required to pay that support even after they no longer owe current payments. For most parents who pay support in California, the orders last until the child turns 18.

There are a number of ways that child support payments might be enforced. A parent who is owed support and whose support agreement is legally binding may turn to the state or federal government for assistance.

Methods of enforcement might include seizing the debtor’s driver’s license, garnishing wages and jail time. This can also be done after the child is no longer a minor if the other parent is still in arrears. It should be noted that child support obligations cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy.

The state uses a formula to calculate child support and then takes any other extenuating financial circumstances into account. Even if child support is being paid regularly, separated parents might still run into conflicts over other aspects of co-parenting. These could range from arguments related to pickups for visitation to larger disputes about the child’s education, health care or religion.

Parents might want to negotiate complex issues and include them in a parenting agreement. Other issues that might be addressed in this agreement include extracurricular activities and how to handle new partners. If parents build a method of conflict resolution into the agreement, they may be able to avoid repeated visits to court and amendments to the agreement. For major changes, such as a modification in child support, it may be necessary to speak with an attorney.