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11 Enforcement Options If You Owe Support Arrears

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1. For any support order being enforced by the public authority, the authority may seek a court order requiring the obligor to seek employment if;

  • The obligors current employment cannot be verified; or
  • If the obligor is in arrears in court-ordered child support or maintenance payments or both in an amount equal to or greater then three times the obligor’s total monthly support and maintenance payments; and
  • The obligor is not in compliance with a written payment plan.

2. If you are ordered to seek employment you shall have a specific amount of time to do so and you must file on a weekly basis a report showing at least five new attempts to find employment.

3. Your driver’s license can be suspended. The obligor needs to be in arrears in court-ordered child support or maintenance payments or both in an amount equal to or greater then three times the obligor’s total monthly support and maintenance payments. This order must be stayed for 90 days to give the obligor time to execute a written payment agreement.

4. Your occupational license can be suspended. The obligor needs to be in arrears in court-ordered child support or maintenance payments or both in an amount equal to or greater then three times the obligor’s total monthly support and maintenance payments. This order must be stayed for 90 days to give the obligor time to execute a written payment agreement.

5. There can be a motor vehicle lien placed on your vehicle. The obligee must have a judgment debt from nonpayment of court-ordered child support or maintenance payments or both in an amount equal to or greater then three times the obligor’s total monthly support and maintenance payments. This order must be stayed for 90 days to give the obligor time to execute a written payment agreement.

6. Your recreational license can be suspended. The obligor needs to be in arrears in court-ordered child support or maintenance payments or both in an amount equal to or greater then six times the obligor’s total monthly support and maintenance payments. This order must find that other substantial enforcement mechanisms have been attempted but not resulted in compliance prior to making this order.

7. At least once a year, the commissioner of human services with the attorney general may publish a list of the names and other identifying information of people who are child support obligors with at least $10,000 in arrears, not in compliance with a written payment agreement, made no payments in the last 12 months, and cannot be located.

8. The court can require the obligor to provide sufficient security for the payment of the obligation. If no security is provided, the court may sequester the obligor’s personal estate and the rents and profits of the obligor’s real estate and direct that payments of support or maintenance be made from the sequestered assets.

9. There can be a money judgment which can be enforced in any manner that other money judgments are enforced, including attachment, levy, execution, or garnishment.

10. Your Income Tax Refund can be withheld for child support arrears.

11. You could be convicted of criminal nonsupport of a spouse or child. You cannot be charged with this unless there has been an attempt to obtain a court order holding the person in contempt for failing to pay child support or maintenance.

Frank Murphy

Edited By Frank Murphy

Chief Compliance Officer
Frank Murphy

Frank Murphy is the Chief Compliance Officer and an Executive Partner at Cordell & Cordell. His responsibilities include oversight of the Firm’s compliance with Legal and Ethical obligations as well as contributing to the day-to-day operations of the Firm as an Executive Partner.

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