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3 common questions about child support enforcement

If your ex-spouse has lost his or her job, does it mean that he or she will be able to pay less child support?

If behind on child support payments, his or her unemployment will not have any effect on what he or she already owes. However, if they make an immediate petition to the court to ask for a reassessment of their circumstances, it is likely that the court will reduce their obligations in line with what they can now afford.

If your ex-spouse has fallen behind in child support, will the court enforce the retrieval of all missed payments?

In short, yes. The court takes missed payments very seriously, and keeps track of all missed payments. Only future payments are open for negotiation in terms, and therefore any missed payments will be enforced by the court. There are several ways that the court can attempt to collect child support in arrears.

Can you file for child support to cover the costs of the past year?

No -- child support is generally only possible to file for from the date of the request. This is why it is very important to file for child support as soon as possible. Then it can begin immediately and you will not lose any possible financial care for your child.

Applying for enforcement of child support can be a very complex matter, but the law is structured to take missed payments very seriously and act only in the best interests of the child. An attorney can provide additional information if you have any questions about how the law might apply to your specific situation.

Source: Findlaw, "Enforcement of child support: FAQs," accessed July 13, 2017

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